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
Not Yet Rated

Thursday - June 16, 2011

From: Austin, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Plant Identification
Title: Plant identification for Westcave Preserve
Answered by: Nan Hampton

QUESTION:

Green greetings! In the canyon at Westcave Preserve last month, I saw a plant I don't know: low, broadish leaves (with rounded edges as I recall); very tall, delicate stems with tiny white flowers spaced rather far apart (not spikes); a very airy, enchanting looking thing. Our guide did not know it, either -- any ideas? Thank you and keep up the great work, you folks absolutely rock!

ANSWER:

Green greetings to you, too, and thank you for your kind comments.  

I just happen to have an 'official' list of the plants of Westcave Preserve and I thought this would be an easy question to answer.  It wasn't as easy as I thought, but I've come up with some possibilities that are on that list.  The two most likely possibilities are ones that would grow in the canyon near the side of the creek.  They are Samolus ebracteatus ssp. cuneatus (Limerock brookweed) and Samolus valerandi ssp. parviflorus (Seaside brookweed)Here is a link to more photos of the two.

Another creekside possibility is the non-native Nasturtium officinale (watercress).

Just in case your plant isn't one of the above, here are a few more plants that occur at Westcave Preserve that sound somewhat similar to your description:

 Heliotropium tenellum (Pasture heliotrope)

Chaetopappa asteroides (Arkansas leastdaisy)

Draba cuneifolia (Wedgeleaf draba)

 Geum canadense (White avens)

Stenaria nigricans var. nigricans (Diamondflowers)

Here are some photos from our Image Gallery:


Samolus ebracteatus ssp. cuneatus


Samolus ebracteatus ssp. cuneatus


Samolus valerandi ssp. parviflorus


Heliotropium tenellum


Chaetopappa asteroides


Draba cuneifolia


Geum canadense


Stenaria nigricans var. nigricans

 

 

 

More Plant Identification Questions

Dyes from native North American plants
November 29, 2012 - Dear Mr. Smarty Plants, I have been working as a textile designer for many years and am now interested in harvesting native North American plants in order to create natural dyes. Which plant ...
view the full question and answer

Picture for plant identification from Danville PA
May 30, 2013 - Is there a way that I could send a picture of a plant for identification?
view the full question and answer

Identification of a vine in El Paso, Texas
November 23, 2012 - I live in Del Rio Texas - Zone 8/9 and I have a vine which can't be identified. It looks like a morning glory white flower with crimson throat, but the leaf pattern is like a 5-7 fingered hand with d...
view the full question and answer

Plant identification
August 14, 2009 - I am trying to identify a plant I saw this past weekend in San Diego, California. It was a low growing shrub planted along the road near a beach. The flowers looked like large star jasmine, leaves wer...
view the full question and answer

Difference between Styrax platanifolius and Styrax patanifolius ssp. texanus
November 18, 2011 - What is the difference between a Styrax platanifolius and a Styrax platanifolius texanus?
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
© 2014 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center