En Español

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
3 ratings

Thursday - June 03, 2010

From: Erie, PA
Region: Mid-Atlantic
Topic: Plant Identification
Title: Identification of night-blooming yellow flower
Answered by: Nan Hampton

QUESTION:

My Nonna used to have a plant that was a night bloomer. It had leaves that looked like a dandelion, and bloomed a bright yellow flower at dusk. I have never seen anything like it although they were plentiful at her house. She may have pulled them for weeds later in life since she does not have them anymore. I would love to find them again since the blooms almost seemed irridescent.

ANSWER:

There are two native yellow evening primroses that grow in Pennsylvania (I am assuming that your Nonna lived in Pennsylvania)—Oenothera laciniata (cutleaf evening-primrose) and Oenothera triloba (stemless evening-primrose).  Both plants have leaves that resemble a dandelion's and both open in the late afternoon or evening and close the following morning.  You should be able to get seeds for either of these.  Check our National Suppliers Directory to find nurseries and seed companies near you that specialize in native plants.

Here are photos of the two from our Image Gallery:


Oenothera laciniata

Oenothera laciniata

Oenothera triloba

Oenothera triloba

 

 

More Plant Identification Questions

Is Talinum paniculatum native to Central Texas?
September 02, 2012 - I just bought a plant in Austin called Talinum paniculatum, Jewels of Opar. We are adamant about growing only local natives in the yard so it will have to be a potted plant unless you can verif...
view the full question and answer

Picture in newspaper from Austin
June 02, 2012 - Your gardening story for the Jan 21,2012 in the Austin American Statesman pictured a pale green bush with purple flowers, however the plant was not identified. Can you tell me what it is? Thanks
view the full question and answer

Plant identification
July 07, 2008 - I live in NE PA and have two plants that are growing under our pine tree. One has 2 leaves and and looks a lot like lily of the valley and the other has 6-10 leaves with white berries on the end. I wa...
view the full question and answer

Plant ID in Champaign IL
May 23, 2009 - I am in search of the name of a flower. It is tall, believe on a single stem, if you ever have been in Champaign, Il it grows along the interstate near the overpasses, very pretty purple flowers. I ...
view the full question and answer

Plant identification
September 26, 2009 - I came back from vacation to find a wild herb growing in my back yard. It looks similar to dill, cilantro, or fennel; which makes me think it's in the umbrelliferae family, but it's not a large plan...
view the full question and answer

Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.
E-NEWSLETTER | BECOME A MEMBER | DONATE NOW | MEDIA | JOBS | SITEMAP | STAFF INTRANET
© 2016 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center