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
1 rating

Thursday - April 07, 2011

From: Garden Ridge, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Plant Identification
Title: Plant identification
Answered by: Nan Hampton

QUESTION:

Comal County, Texas. Trying to identify a plant found growing in Comal Co. It was growing along the ground, with long, spiky leaves, and a ball of green flowers with a dark purple/brown 5 pointed star in the center. A white ball is at then end of each star point. Bloom has a nice, soft lilac fragrance. Have picture if necessary for ID.

ANSWER:

This sounds like Asclepias asperula (Spider milkweed).  Other common names are Antelope Horns and Green-flowered milkweed.  The only part of your description that doesn't match my experience with this plant is its fragrance.  I've never been aware that it has a pleasant scent.   Here are photos and information from Texas AgriLife Research and Extension at Uvalde, the Image Archive of Central Texas Plants from the School of Biological Sciences, University of Texas and from Asclepias.org.  These plants are one of the milkweed hosts for the monarch butterfly larvae.

Here are photos from our Image Gallery:


Asclepias asperula


Asclepias asperula


Asclepias asperula


Asclepias asperula

 

 

More Plant Identification Questions

Identification of blue flower
April 10, 2012 - I have two similar (but obviously different) wild flowers growing on my property. I have pictures of each. What email address can I use to send them to you to identify? I thought one was blue-...
view the full question and answer

Flat leaf cedar, Thuja occidentalis (arborvitae)
May 23, 2007 - Hello, I am looking for the scientific name for what is commonly called flat leaf cedar. It has defined platelets, wonderful cedar smell, older trees have shaggy bark, in winter some of its sprays tu...
view the full question and answer

Identification of plant on shores of Lake Erie
September 27, 2011 - I've used Newcomb's and several other guides but cannot ID: Green small dot like flowers, found on the beach of Lake Erie in Dunkirk NY, many of them growing right in the sand. Smells very much, a...
view the full question and answer

Differences in prostrate Mimosa species
May 27, 2013 - There are apparently a lot of little pink puffy-flowered prostrate plants with thorny stems and sensitive leaves: Mimosa microphylla, Mimosa roemeriana, Mimosa strigillosa. How does one tell them apar...
view the full question and answer

Vine with red berries in North Carolina
November 04, 2011 - I found a plant/ vine pink teardrop with red berries in the Pusgah Forest in North Carolina and no on knows the name of it. I have a photo, can you help?
view the full question and answer

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