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?


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
24 ratings

Tuesday - June 01, 2010

From: Ann Arbor/Bloomfield Hills, MI
Region: Midwest
Topic: Plant Identification
Title: Plant identification
Answered by: Nan Hampton


I was walking in the woods, near Dresden Michigan yesterday, in a deer friendly area, where we came upon a grouping of large, umbrella leaved plants, seemed to be interconnected and only one foot high. The leaves were quite large (8 inches across - approx) and one stem came out of the base of these leaves on each leaf stem (these were about 3/4 of an inch before a bud. It is obvious that these buds were flowers, and the way they spread across the under tree foliage, seems very much like pumpkins/squash; However, the leaves were shinny, and some had yellowish dots. What are these?


This sounds a lot like Podophyllum peltatum (mayapple).  See the photos below.  If this isn't what you saw, please visit Mr. Smarty Plants' Plant Identification page and read instructions for submitting photos for identification.  

Podophyllum peltatum

Podophyllum peltatum

Podophyllum peltatum

Podophyllum peltatum

Podophyllum peltatum



More Plant Identification Questions

Identifcation of flower in a bouquet
August 30, 2009 - My boyfriend bought a bouquet and I'd like to know the name of the kind of green flower that looks like a mum but the petals look like rich, full grass or like a tall shag carpet. It has a stem with ...
view the full question and answer

Identity of invasive vine in The Woodlands, Texas
December 02, 2013 - What is the invasive vine covering trees in The Woodlands, Texas?
view the full question and answer

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 fleshy three-leaved vine in Central Texas
June 20, 2015 - I have a 3 leaved evergreen vine, that I assume is a central Texas native, growing in my yard in a non irrigated mostly shady spot. It has a strong odor when touched and looks and feels like a succule...
view the full question and answer

Identity of yellow-flowered plant with stickers
November 06, 2012 - I have yellow flowered plant taking over my lawn. I used weed killers last year and it has spread this year and still spreading. It has small burs (not as hard as a regular sticker bur but will stic...
view the full question and answer

Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.
© 2016 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center