Rent Shop Volunteer Join

Q. Who is Mr. Smarty Plants?

A: There are those who suspect Wildflower Center volunteers are the culpable and capable culprits. Yet, others think staff members play some, albeit small, role. You can torture us with your plant questions, but we will never reveal the Green Guru's secret identity.

Help us grow by giving to the Plant Database Fund or by becoming a member

Did you know you can access the Native Plant Information Network with your web-enabled smartphone?

Share

Ask Mr. Smarty Plants

Ask Mr. Smarty Plants is a free service provided by the staff and volunteers at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center.

Search Smarty Plants
See a list of all Smarty Plants questions

Please forgive us, but Mr. Smarty Plants has been overwhelmed by a flood of mail and must take a break for awhile to catch up. We hope to be accepting new questions again soon. Thank you!

Need help with plant identification, visit the plant identification page.

 
rate this answer
1 rating

Sunday - May 16, 2010

From: Austin, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Plant Identification
Title: Sombrerito Mexicano
Answered by: Damon Waitt

QUESTION:

Ratibida columnifera, almost universally called Mexican hat in English, is native to Texas and also to parts of Mexico, which leads me to wonder what the vernacular name is in Mexican Spanish. Google tells me that "sombrerito Mexicano" (which looks suspiciously like it might be translated from English) is one common name, but there weren't so many hits that I am confident that it is _the_ normal common name in Mexico (if there is one.) Does Sr. or Sra. Smarty Pants have a more definitive answer?

ANSWER:

Unfortunately, our trusty source for Spanish common names, the Integrated Taxonomic Information System does not list any for Ratibida columnifera (upright prairie coneflower). Sr. Smarty Plants agrees that sombrerito Mexicano is a lackluster attempt to translate the most common English common name, Mexican hat, into Spanish. Unlike scientific names, there are no rules governing the application of common names so feel free to use sombrerito Mexicano.
 

More Plant Identification Questions

Plant identification
September 24, 2008 - I found a flower about 5 inches tall and it is Pinkish White the head of it hangs down and looks like a rose that hasn't bloomed yet. It reminds me of an Orchid like Fairy . Its Mystic like! what is ...
view the full question and answer

Identification of Queen Anne's Lace look-alike
May 13, 2013 - I am trying to identify a plant/weed that grows here in Austin but I haven't found an exact match in your databases. It looks very similar to Queen Anne's lace and to your photos of yarrow but the l...
view the full question and answer

More information about Trillium in New Jersey
June 23, 2011 - Hi, Nan. FYI. The Trillium seeds in question came from the State of Alabama. If you have an interest in seeing photos of this Trillium and two others in my garden, which are different and which I be...
view the full question and answer

Identification of shrub/small tree with small purple fruit
July 31, 2013 - Hi! I have a tree/bush that has come up on its own in the backyard. This year it set what looks like small purple plums. Is there any chance that they might be poisonous?
view the full question and answer

Plant ID from Bloomsdale MO
August 19, 2010 - I have found a plant growing on the side of the road in a weedy area, looks like a poker flower, the plant has Red/orange seed pods growing to a point. no flowers right now. grows on a stem very much...
view the full question and answer

Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.