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
Not Yet Rated

Thursday - July 15, 2010

From: Jacksonville, OH
Region: Southwest
Topic: Plant Identification
Title: Plant identification
Answered by: Nan Hampton


I bought a double knock-out rose bush and planted it in my yard. A year later a weed-like plant started growing beside it. It has very thorny leaves, stems and stalk. Little purple flowers are growing from it. On some of the stems/branches there are three small watermelon looking pods growing. What could this be. The thorns are extremely strong and you can not pull it without some gloves. The stalk, stems, and leaves are all a solid light green. The pods look very much like "mini" watermelons. The flowers are a light purple with long petals that have not opened up yet - almost tear drop formed. What is this?


This sounds like a very interesting plant, but I don't recognize it just from your description.  Please send us photos (flowers, fruits, leaves, stem, the entire plant) and we will do our best to identify it.  For instructions on submitting photos for identification, please visit Mr. Smarty Plants' Plant Identification page.

More Plant Identification Questions

Plant identification of a potted vine in California
October 04, 2011 - Hi, we have a tropical vine growing in a pot on our patio that my wife bought at the county fair. We've had it for a couple of years but I just noticed it now has a sort of pear like fruit on it. It ...
view the full question and answer

Is the Ashe juniper native from Round Mountain TX
June 23, 2010 - Some friends and I disagree on something, and I hope you will settle the argument. Are the cedars found in the Texas hill country (ashe juniper) native or not?
view the full question and answer

Plant identification
September 12, 2009 - I am looking for the name of plant my Grandma used to own. She always referred to it as a spider plant. The green part of the plant looked very similar to a spider plant but growing around the base of...
view the full question and answer

Identification of all-white small plants growing in the woods in Belmont, MA.
July 21, 2009 - I have just seen a group of completely ALL-WHITE small plants growing in the woods. They have 4-8in. stalks with a kind of bell-shaped flower growing at the top. There is no green anywhere on this pla...
view the full question and answer

Plant ID from Foster RI
April 05, 2012 - I have a weed flowering plant in bloom in a moist semi-shaded area. I would like to send a photo but I do not know how to upload.
view the full question and answer

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