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

Wednesday - June 01, 2011

From: Little Elm, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Plant Identification
Title: Identity of yellow thistle-like plant
Answered by: Nan Hampton

QUESTION:

Dear Mr.Smarty Plants, I see this flower along the road but I can't seem to find it on your website. It looks like a yellow thistle and it is a panicle and a head. It is about a foot tall. Do you know what it's name is? Cordially.

ANSWER:

I think the best bet for your plant that looks like a yellow thistle is Centaurea melitensis (Malta star-thistle).  You won't find it in our Native Plant Database since it is a non-native invasive plant introduced from Europe and North Africa.  It has been reported from many states and provinces in North America.  Although it hasn't been reported specifically from Denton County, it has been reported from nearby Ellis County.  Here are more photos.

There is a native thistle, Cirsium horridulum (Yellow thistle), that you will find in our database.  It has been reported in Denton County.  It isn't always yellow, however, and usually grows considerably taller than one foot.  Here are some photos of this thistle with yellow, rather than pink, blossoms.

If one of these isn't the plant you have seen, you can find links on our Plant Identification page to plant forums where you can submit photos (if you have them) for identification.

 

From the Image Gallery


Yellow thistle
Cirsium horridulum

Yellow thistle
Cirsium horridulum

Yellow thistle
Cirsium horridulum

More Plant Identification Questions

Is Tagetes lemmonii (Copper Canyon Daisy) native to the Southwest?
September 01, 2014 - Due to the continued drought I have resolved to only use native plants in my garden. Copper canyon daisy is be recommended more often at nurseries. The NPSOT lists it a native of Arizona, yet I cann...
view the full question and answer

Identification of tree with round purple leaves
May 14, 2014 - What is tne name of the purple leaf tree whose leaves are spherical? Maybe 1 to 2" in diameter? A neighbor who has moved now, had one but cut it down before i could find out or rescue it. It wasnt ...
view the full question and answer

What is gelatinous plant in a Missouri lake
July 25, 2008 - Q what is gel like plant floating in lake looks like a bag filled with green living plant and is see thru and has red. when touched feels like piece of fat but seems to be living in water. Missouri
view the full question and answer

Mystery plant in hay fields in Tennessee
July 13, 2008 - I found plants growing in my hay fields that are about 4 feet tall, large leaves and blooms (ball shaped) bell flowers.That is, the blooms looks like a pom pom with about 50 to 80 small flowers "hang...
view the full question and answer

How to solve a search problem on the Native Plant Database!
July 01, 2014 - When I use the LBJ Wildflower Center's Plant Identification Guide, it ALWAYS comes up with no results. It also ALWAYS comes up with Family: Acanthaceae. Could this be why NO question EVERY produces A...
view the full question and answer

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