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

Saturday - June 18, 2011

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

QUESTION:

Hello- I would like to know what is this plant? It grows in part to full sun over a large area; gray fuzzy, quilted, pointed leaves. It is now about 6-10" tall plants but there are untrimmed 24-30" dried stalks. The gray-green stalks are starting to show tiny clusters of flower heads surrounding the stem near the top. So far, they have had only rain (not much!). I would attach a photo if I could.. Thank you.

ANSWER:

This sounds like Verbascum thapsus (common mullein).  It is an introduced plant from Eurasia and Africa and is considerered invasive or noxious over most of North America; however, herbalists are enthusiastic about its medicinal properties and these properties are probably why early settler's to North America imported it sometime in the late 1700s.  Here are more photos and information.

If this doesn't appear to be your plant, please visit our Plant Identification page to find links to several plant identification forums that accept photos for identification.

 

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

Plant identification of yellow daisy-like flowers blooming in Austin
October 25, 2010 - What is the name of the yellow daisy-like bush that is blooming now all over the Hill Country of Texas? The plant varies from 3 to 5 feet. The petals on the bloom vary from 8 to 10. The flowers are...
view the full question and answer

Plant called beargrass from Granbury, TX
September 24, 2011 - I am not a native Texan. We have a clump of what my husband (from Big Spring) calls "Bear Grass." It is over to the side of our yard and we have always enjoyed it (moved here in 1982). It blooms ...
view the full question and answer

Dill-like plant in veggie garden in California
September 28, 2011 - I have a plant that appeared in my veggie garden. Looks like dill in spring when green, but the leaves smell more like turpentine! Now, 4-5 foot tall, brown, it produces lots of small, oval - not cr...
view the full question and answer

Help identify a plant.
February 21, 2008 - Could you help me to identify this plant?
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