En EspaŅol

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
Can't find the answer in our existing FAQs, submit a question to Mr. Smarty Plants.
Need help with plant identification, visit the plant identification page.
 
rate this answer
3 ratings

Sunday - March 13, 2011

From: Cedar Park, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Ferns
Title: Identification of small purplish/pink flower with ferny leaves
Answered by: Nan Hampton

QUESTION:

There is a totally adorable tiny flower blooming right now in my lease pasture near the Cedar Park Center in Cedar Park, TX. It has a rosette of 2"-3" ferny leaves circling a very tiny (1/4") purple or pink 5-petaled bloom. They came out last year, too. They bloom in areas that have bare dirt in my pasture, but I've seen a few on the roadside that are slightly larger but in very short-grass or forbed areas there. I can't seem to see them in any database I've found, yet. Probably don't get noticed except by folks like me just trying to get grass to grow in our dry pastures. They like areas where prairie verbena grow as well, so probably like a similar pH and full sun.

ANSWER:

This sounds like Erodium cicutarium (Redstem stork's bill or redstem filaree), a non-native introduced species from the area around the Mediterranean Sea.  It is now widespread over most of North America and is considered a noxious weed in some places (e.g., Colorado and California).  Here are photos and information from the Virginia Tech Weed Identification Guide.  As you can see, it is referred to as a weed by most people; but it is, nevertheless, a very attractive little plant.

 

More Ferns Questions

Tropical-looking landscape in Austin, TX
March 24, 2005 - I'd like to have a tropical-looking landscape in my front yard. What plants would you recommend for Austin, Texas? I would prefer plants that can stay outside year-round, but will take suggestions on...
view the full question and answer

Identity of fern-like plant in woodland garden
August 04, 2008 - what is the fern-like, hairy fleshy-stemmed, 12"-18" ht plant in my woodland garden
view the full question and answer

Plants to grow in shady sand in Florida
March 31, 2013 - We live in central Florida (directly between Orlando and Tampa). Our yard is mostly sand for soil and difficult parts in shade almost all day from large trees. What ground cover (grass) and hedges can...
view the full question and answer

Fertilizer for Maidenhair Fern in Bay Point CA
October 05, 2009 - Is it possible to feed a Maidenhair Fern the same plant food as a African Violet? I use Schultz African Violet Plus.
view the full question and answer

Evergreen plant to cover parents' graves in Louisiana
June 30, 2013 - We want to plant ground cover on our parents graves in Plain Dealing Cemetery in north Bossier Parish LA. Soil is red clay/dirt. Want native plant, slow growing, short not tall plant, that might sta...
view the full question and answer

Smarty Plants's Facebook profile Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.

Mr. Smarty Plants wants you to be his Facebook friend. Click the Facebook icon to add yourself to Mr. Smarty Plants list of friends.
E-NEWSLETTER | BECOME A MEMBER | DONATE NOW | MEDIA | SITEMAP
© 2014 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center