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: Fairbanks, AK
Region: Northwest
Topic: Plant Identification
Title: Plant Identification
Answered by: Nan Hampton and Anne Ruggles

QUESTION:

I live in Alaska and have TEENY cute 5 petaled white flowers growing on my lawn. They are very short, maybe 2 inches in height. The flower is about 1/2 inch wide. They look like a perfect tiny daisy. I tried to copy a picture here, but it won't let me.

ANSWER:

Here are some possibilities for your tiny daisy-like flower:

Moehringia lateriflora (Bluntleaf sandwort) [synonym=Arenaria lateriflora] and here are photos and more information.  Here is the USDA Plants Database record with the distribution map and more photos.

The next three do have 5 petals but because the petals are deeply notched it looks as if they have 10 petals. Their tiny white flowers do resemble daisies.

Cerastium arvense (Field chickweed) and here are more photos and information.

Cerastium nutans (nodding chickweed) and here are more photos and information.

Cerastium fontanum ssp. vulgare (big chickweed) and here are more photos and information.

Another possibility that does grow in Fairbanks, but in wet places (possibly not your lawn), is Saxifraga caespitosa (Tufted alpine saxifrage).  You can see photos here and here.

If none of these appear to be your little lawn daisy, please visit our Plant Identification page to find links to garden forums that do accept photos for identification.  Sorry, but Mr. Smarty Plants' database isn't set up to receive photos.

 

 

More Plant Identification Questions

Plant identification of tree in North Carolina
September 07, 2011 - I live in North Carolina have found a tree on our property that has thorny branches and round fruit (perfectly round) with a fuzzy outer layer that starts out green but then turns yellow. The inside r...
view the full question and answer

Identification of orange flowering tree in West Virginia
May 21, 2008 - I was wondering if you might have any suggestions as to what small tree-like plant I saw over the last two weeks (mid May) in West Virginia, in the woods, in the mountains. With honeysuckle-like leav...
view the full question and answer

Plant identification
March 15, 2011 - I don't know where this plant is from! I hope you can still help! I was given a plant,about 8in tall,stem and limbs are yellow it doesn't grow leaves it just has thorns do you have any idea what it ...
view the full question and answer

Plant identification
August 06, 2014 - I have a plant my kids got me, but I cant figure out what it is. It has long thick waxy leaves and instead of flowers the leaves at the top turn white. Do you know what it is?
view the full question and answer

Flat leaf cedar, Thuja occidentalis (arborvitae)
May 23, 2007 - Hello, I am looking for the scientific name for what is commonly called flat leaf cedar. It has defined platelets, wonderful cedar smell, older trees have shaggy bark, in winter some of its sprays tu...
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