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

Saturday - April 29, 2006

From: Keller, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Plant Identification
Title: Difference between vetch and woolly loco
Answered by: Nan Hampton


What is the difference between vetch and woolly loco?


Both the vetches (Vicia spp.) and the plant known as woolly loco (Astragalus mollisimus) are members of the Family Fabaceae (Legume, or Bean, Family) and both are also members of the Subfamily Papilianoideae. They are member of different tribes, however—Viceae and Galegeae, respectively. The major difference between the tribes is that Tribe Viceae has tendrils instead of terminal leaflets (i.e., they are vine-like) and Tribe Galegeae are erect, non-twining plants. You can read the key for Subfamily Papilianoideae in Shinners and Mahler's Illustrated Flora of North Central Texas. The entire book is also available in several downloadable PDF files on the internet.


More Plant Identification Questions

Identification of possible wild plums thickets
May 19, 2008 - I have several "thickets" of small shrub/bushes on my land that I hunt on. These small trees are usually 5-7 feet tall, always grow in thickets of ten to up to sixty or so bushes. They are always lo...
view the full question and answer

Identity of plant at Zilker Botanical Gardens
March 22, 2011 - I am trying to identify a large flowering shrub I saw at Zilker Botanical Gardens. The bloom looks like a small chrysanthemum bloom that has been ruffled. The bloom are yellow, white, or pink. We h...
view the full question and answer

Mystery fast-growing plant with the honeysuckle
April 05, 2010 - Mr. Smarty Plants, We have a section of honeysuckle, then a section of this 4 foot, bright, hairy green leafed, thorn bush that seems to be blooming/growing faster than the honeysuckle. Then a sectio...
view the full question and answer

Identity of vines in Florida
October 30, 2012 - Hello, I have 2 different types of vines growing in my shrubs. They are very pretty and I like them I just want to know if they are poisonous or if they will take over my shrubs. I have not been able ...
view the full question and answer

Identification of three-petaled lilac colored flower in Texas
April 30, 2013 - I found a single bloom. It has three petals, lilac colored with white spots toward the center with purple dots. The stamens are a greenish color. Bloom has an iris appearance. Can't find it in my...
view the full question and answer

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