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

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

Smarty Plants on thousand year old interrupted fern
April 03, 2005 - We recently built a new home in the mountains of western Virginia. I am told by the local Botanist that there is a patch of "thousand year old interrupted fern" that runs through, among other pla...
view the full question and answer

Decline of Japanese ferns in Austin
June 16, 2008 - I've enjoyed beautiful Japanese ferns in my shaded garden for about ten years. They are looking spent and straggly, despite fish emulsion, compost,and lots of mulch and soaker hose watering in the s...
view the full question and answer

Ferns that smell like cucumber
September 27, 2008 - Are there ferns that smell like cucumber?
view the full question and answer

Crows foot plant for Christmas wreaths from Millsboro DE
November 04, 2012 - I am looking for a plant called crows foot to make wreaths for Christmas. Where do I find this plant.
view the full question and answer

Plant that can move from outside to inside for Denton, TX
December 14, 2008 - I am looking for a plant that is either native to Texas or is well acclimated to the Denton TX area that can move from a covered outside area to an adjacent indoor area behind large glass walls, to a ...
view the full question and answer

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