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
1 rating

Monday - June 28, 2010

From: Rock Hill, SC
Region: Southeast
Topic: Non-Natives, Plant Identification
Title: Baby in a manger plant from Rock Hill SC
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

I'm looking for the correct name for baby in a manger(It's a plant.)

ANSWER:

Here are a couple of previous answers to similar questions:

 

We found a previous Mr. Smarty Plants answer that comes about as close as we can for an answer to your question. The plant mentioned in that answer is non-native to North America, so we don't know where you could get it. You might try going to our National Suppliers Directory, typing in your town and state in the Enter Search Location box, and you will get a list of native plant nurseries, seed suppliers and landscape consultants in your general area. Most of them are not exclusively native plants, and they all have contact information so you might be able to get in touch with some of them and see if they either have it or know where you can get it.

Pictures of Epiphyllum oxypetalum from Google 

Second Answer:

Mr. Smarty Plants didn't find a plant with the exact name your grandmother used but here is one possibility—Epiphyllum oxypetalum (Night blooming cereus, Dutchman's pipe cactus, Queen of the Night). A couple of people commenting on this plant referred to it as "Babe in the Manger."  I found other references to that name associated with Epiphyllum oxypetalum on several plant forums as well.  You can search on the linked page given above for "Babe in the Manger" or scroll down to the entries by NEVADASKIDS or lindas43.  The first entry says her mother called it that because the bloom looks like "Baby Jesus in the Manger with the star at his feet."  Epiphylllum oxypetalum is a member of the Family Cactaceae (Cactus Family) and is a native of Mexico and Central America.  It does bloom at night and is fragrant.   Here are more photos.  Mr. Smarty Plants thinks you need to have a pretty good imagination to see the baby Jesus in the center of the flower. 

 

 

More Plant Identification Questions

Native North American bulbs
August 19, 2011 - I saw your list of 4 lilies native to the Northeastern United States, which was very helpful. What other bulbs are native to North America? Although I garden in Connecticut, I am interested in learn...
view the full question and answer

Identification of landscape plants at malls in Waco and Temple
August 20, 2009 - Dear Mr. Smarty, I am trying to identify a plant used in landscaping for several shopping centers within the Waco-Temple areas. It looks to be large mounding grass, but flowers June-July with shaft...
view the full question and answer

ID of odd woodland plant in PA?
July 20, 2009 - Found in the woods in Eastern Pennsylvania. It is about 8 inches tall and were found in clusters of 3 to 10. They are clear. with pink and black tops. Similar to a flower, but snaps like a fungus. ...
view the full question and answer

Vine with wine-colored flowers in Washington County, TX
April 04, 2014 - I'm trying to identify a deep purple wine colored flowering vine in Washington County, Texas. It looks very similar to Texas wisteria, but it is something else. I've seen them growing in vineyards...
view the full question and answer

Plant identfication
August 14, 2009 - a vine plant with small white flowers with a small red flower on the end of the bloom,looks like a little red bird sitting on the flower.It is beautiful.
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