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 23, 2011

From: Newton, NJ
Region: Northeast
Topic: Plant Identification
Title: Plant identification of a trillium in New Jersey
Answered by: Nan Hampton

QUESTION:

I have several Trillium grown from one seed source. The plant looks like Trillium cuneatum, but unlike that plant, the stems of these plants -- which seed freely in my Northwest New Jersey garden -- lay on the ground so that the leaves appear to be flush with the soil. I was told this plant was Trillium alabamensis, but that does not appear to be a recognized name. Thoughts? Thank you so much -- I need the correct name for a book caption.

ANSWER:

As well as doing a general "Google" search, I searched in the followed taxonomic databases for Trillium alabamensis:

This name couldn't be found in any of them.  I don't know where your informant got that name but I don't believe it is a valid name for any Trillium species. 

Next, I tried looking for other trilliums that might meet your description.   I'm not sure where you got your seeds and if it was a source for native trilliums from your area, but I did find one native, Trillium sessile (Toadshade), that looks very similar to Trillium cuneatum (Little sweet betsy) but with very short stems.  Here is a description of T. sessile and a description of T. cuneatum from eFloras.org.  These descriptions aren't easy to get through, but T. sessile seems to be, essentially, a shorter, smaller version of T. cuneatum.  Neither are seen to occur in New Jersey on the distribution maps on the eFloras site, but distribuion maps for both T. sessile and T. cuneatum in the USDA Plants Database show them appearing in states adjacent to New Jersey. 

Your best bet for determining the identity of your short trillium, I think, is to contact someone with the New Jersey Native Plant Society.

 

 

More Plant Identification Questions

Plant identification
July 10, 2014 - I am trying to identify a wildflower that has popped up after a big rain. It is under a foot tall---blooms a yellow bloom in the evenings. It has long narrow leaves sort of like a rosemary. It grows f...
view the full question and answer

Plant identification in Andover MA
November 12, 2009 - I live in MA. I have found a tree that produces an avocado like fruit with a round grooved pit. There are several of these trees in the fields where I walk and the ground is littered with these fruits...
view the full question and answer

What is the correct genus name for Fringe flower in North Myrtle Beach, SC?
September 14, 2010 - Is it Laura Pedlum or lorapetalum? I saw this shrub last week, and finally found a picture of it. The search engine listed about three different names for it! So what is the correct name, and does i...
view the full question and answer

Identification of shrub with red berries in Kentucky
January 14, 2012 - I live in Laurel CO, KY. I am trying to identify a shrub/tree. The leaves are green and may turn reddish orange. There are huge pods of red berries hanging.
view the full question and answer

Plant ID from North Carolina
August 16, 2010 - Hi Mr. Smartyplants, I know that you can identify blue cohash in a neat way: 3 stems which easy branch to 3 more stems which each branch into 3 more and then 3 leaves attached to each. Well, do you...
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