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
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

Possible identification of native white buddlejas in Austin
July 18, 2007 - I am desperately trying to identify a plant. It looks perennial, is in full sun, is about 7 ft. tall, bloomed white blossoms (similar in form to buddleia) in June, which have now changed from rose-co...
view the full question and answer

Origin of thorned plant-like object falling from the sky
September 01, 2011 - This morning while walking I felt a prick on my arm, like something had bitten me. I looked and saw what appeared to be a very tiny little plant with a thorn on it sticking out of my arm. I pulled i...
view the full question and answer

Identification of cattail look-alike, except red
June 21, 2008 - I would like help identify the wildflowers growing beside the highways in my area so I can plant some at my house. We live in Sherwood Arkansas which is just north of Little Rock.The Highway where ...
view the full question and answer

Identification of tree with round purple leaves
May 14, 2014 - What is tne name of the purple leaf tree whose leaves are spherical? Maybe 1 to 2" in diameter? A neighbor who has moved now, had one but cut it down before i could find out or rescue it. It wasnt ...
view the full question and answer

Identification of riparian plant in Pennsylvania
June 05, 2013 - I'm wondering if this is a native plant: the plant is 3-5ft. tall, it has a tough reedy stalk, grows in sunny riparian areas, has whorled leaves with toothed margin, and has elongated clusters of tin...
view the full question and answer

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