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

Ground cover to control hillside erosion in Illinois
May 04, 2014 - I have seen some other questions regarding native plants for erosion control, but I am looking specifically for plants that will do well on a hill in partial to full shade. I am told the soil in our a...
view the full question and answer

Identification of vine with red flowers, fern-like leaves
March 10, 2005 - Last year I saw a plant at the State Fair. It had small fern like leaves to it with beautiful little red flowers. It was a vine plant of some sort. They told me that it was native to the Hill Countr...
view the full question and answer

Native Plants for Shaded North Slope in Ohio
January 03, 2013 - I have a shaded north hillside which needs erosion control plants. Mostly moss and very thin grass grows there now. Please help!
view the full question and answer

Native plants with little sun and northern exposure for New York
April 26, 2006 - I live in a co-op and want to fix up the backyard. The backyard area has a west area to plant with a northern exposure and little sun and I am looking to plant something to cover the area. I would lik...
view the full question and answer

Suggestions for Texas native plants for memorial
June 30, 2005 - A dear friend of ours has passed and we would like some ideas of a native Texas plant we could plant in memory of her. It will be grown in the hill region near Houston. Thank you.
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 | STAFF
© 2015 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center