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
Not Yet Rated

Tuesday - March 29, 2011

From: Somerset, MA
Region: Northeast
Topic: Plant Identification
Title: Identity of recently purchased plant from Somerset MA
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

I just bought a plant at Home Depot but it came with no tag. It has fairly large greyish green paddle shaped leaves, the leave stalks are pretty thick. Can you tell me what kind of plant do I have? I think it a Bird of paradise but not sure. if you can help it would be great! Thanks

ANSWER:

We are sorry, but there is little chance we can identify your plant. Home Depot sells mostly non-native plants, and tropicals are particularly showy. However, the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center is dedicated to the growth, propagation and protection of plants native not only to North America but to the area in which those plants are being grown. We would strongly recommend that you refuse to buy a plant that is not labelled with its identity. A common name is okay, because you can usually find that on the Internet, but a scientific name is much better, as there will be no confusion on which plant that is, while there are many different common names for the same plant.

 

More Plant Identification Questions

Plant identification
June 17, 2011 - I have an area of some plants growing wild in woods behind my house. It will creep onto adjoining plants and has a delicate lavender colored flower that is curled up similar to a sweetpea, has a very ...
view the full question and answer

Searching for a dye made from a French weed
June 09, 2009 - Dear Mr smarty plants, I watched a gardening show on cable and they talked about a place in France where they use a weed called Wod to make dye and dye fabric and several other items to sell. It was ...
view the full question and answer

Plant Identification
June 03, 2009 - We have a new vine growing on our fence. It eventually gets red balls (about 1" in dia) that are filled with small white seeds. Before the balls turn red, they are covered with a fine, thin fern (f...
view the full question and answer

Seeds of Castilleja purpurea
April 12, 2012 - The seed photo for Castilleja purpurea is incorrect; seeds are black and poppyseed size.
view the full question and answer

Plant identification
August 13, 2008 - Can you identify a shrub in my backyard? It has odd looking seed pods with three chambers and hard black seeds inside roughly 1/8" in diameter. The pods themselves are brown, hard shell, and hang d...
view the full question and answer

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