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
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

How to distinguish Malvaviscus arboreus from M. a. var. drummondii?
May 28, 2010 - I have a Turk's Cap plant. How do I tell if it is Malvaviscus arboreus or Malvaviscus arboreus var. drummondii?
view the full question and answer

Identity of bulbs from digging in an anthole
June 13, 2012 - I was digging in an ant hole and it collapsed and as I dug it out, I found around 50 white bulbs that did not have a smell or roots. They resembled onion bulbs. I have a picture of these and they are...
view the full question and answer

Plant identification
September 06, 2009 - Could you please identify a plant with a scalloped elephant ear type leaf, wooden base with oval areas where old large wooden roots from above the ground have fallen off.
view the full question and answer

Distinguish between Huisache and Goldenball Leadtree
March 23, 2008 - How do you distinguish between Huisache (Acacia farnesiana) and Goldenball Leadtree (Leucaena retusa)? Thanks!
view the full question and answer

Smarty Plants on Hesperaloe parviflora
August 22, 2005 - On your home website there is an orange flower that is tall and has tall leaves. is it a cactus? Thanks.
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