En Español

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

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 from New York
August 21, 2014 - I have a sunflower like plant growing mysteriously in our garden. Its leaves are large heart shaped. It is a single stem plant. The base of each branch is a small, orange colored bud looking as if...
view the full question and answer

Plant identification
July 18, 2010 - My daughter is working on a wildflower collection for her Biology class, we have found a flower, that, for appearances sake, is identified in books as Selfheal. This flower is taller than pictures we...
view the full question and answer

Safe distance from foundation for Sycamore from Preston UK
August 24, 2011 - What would be the safe distance to have a sycamore tree near your house so it doesn't affect the foundations?
view the full question and answer

Is this a sycamore tree in Houston TX?
July 13, 2009 - I believe I have a 6 year old American Sycamore planted in front of my condo. There are no seed pods (balls) ever on this tree. I thought all Sycamores have those. Is my tree too young to produce the ...
view the full question and answer

Identification of small plant with white flowers in Baltimore, MD
June 21, 2012 - It's a small plant, has flowers in June, four white petals with large, tall conical center, about no more than an inch in diameter. The leaves are alternating with branched veins. It stays at about 6...
view the full question and answer

Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.
E-NEWSLETTER | BECOME A MEMBER | DONATE NOW | MEDIA | JOBS | SITEMAP | STAFF INTRANET
© 2016 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center