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: 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
June 23, 2008 - Hi from Baton Rouge, I was out in Livingston Parish a week ago and saw a small tree that I had never seen before. I can't paste a picture here. It's sort of like an Osage Orange but the flowers a...
view the full question and answer

Muscari neglectum image
March 23, 2007 - I am doing a school project and found a native plant on the native plant information network image gallery. It is plant NPIN Image Id 524. What is it's name?
view the full question and answer

Will Butterfly Plant Survive in Mansfield, Texas
January 06, 2012 - I have a butterfly plant that was very successful (about 4 feet tall) right up until the cold snap three weeks ago. I've read they have a tap root, so I'm hoping it will come back next spring. Mea...
view the full question and answer

Instructions for sending photos for identifying plants
May 18, 2008 - Mr. Plants, Does your Ask.... form allow photo attachments, so you can see the uncommon native plants that interest us. Thanx.
view the full question and answer

Plant identification
July 24, 2010 - Purchased foliage plant - no one knows its name. Leaves (stems) are bright green and 10" tall. Has "babies" like a spider plant but leaves (stems) are wider and thicker. Has a "rib" to them in...
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