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

Ground cover plant that tastes like cucumbers
December 18, 2011 - It is a native ground cover plant that is edible and tastes like cucumbers. Found in the Edwards Plateau. What is the name?
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

Identity of white flowers, 6 petals and 5 yellow stamens
June 16, 2012 - Have white flower with 6 petals and 5 yellow stamen in middle . Looks like yellow stamen star cluster. Could be Gladious or Star of bethleham but Star has 6 yellow stamen in middle right? Can you id...
view the full question and answer

Plant identification
September 26, 2009 - I came back from vacation to find a wild herb growing in my back yard. It looks similar to dill, cilantro, or fennel; which makes me think it's in the umbrelliferae family, but it's not a large plan...
view the full question and answer

Smoketree not flowering in Beverly Hills CA
June 29, 2011 - Why is my Smoke tree not flowering? It is big and the leaves are beautiful but no blooms.
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