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

Identity of tree with pumpkin-like fruit in Florida
October 02, 2012 - Hello. I live in a small town called Molino FL. I was walking on the side of our road and found a tree with pumpkin type fruit on the limbs. I have been trying to figure this tree out for about 3 mont...
view the full question and answer

Identity of vine with orangish flowers
July 09, 2014 - I am looking to ID what I believe is a vine growing plant that blooms orangish flowers. I have pictures of the plant, and have attempted to use multiple plant ID websites. But have been unsuccessful. ...
view the full question and answer

Plant ID from Bracketville TX
June 23, 2010 - A volunteer plant, 3 feet. 4 to 5 Dark green leaves from a central point, diamond shaped very serrated leaves with dark spots within the the leave. Stem is reddish. flowers are pinkish, small and clus...
view the full question and answer

Plant identification
October 12, 2008 - I found gorgeous berries on a tree or large bush (about 10 feet tall) and clipped a little cluster the size of my hand. There are 6 or more, starting the size of a blueberry in lime green and growing ...
view the full question and answer

Identity of fast growing vine in San Francisco
March 20, 2016 - Really need to know what kind of vine is growing rapidly in the garden. Can't find out in plant identification: started to grow profusely after rainfall. Grows at rate of 6-8" per day (!). Has ivy-l...
view the full question and answer

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