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

Wednesday - August 24, 2011

From: Arkport, NY
Region: Northeast
Topic: Plant Identification
Title: Plant identification
Answered by: Nan Hampton

QUESTION:

I have searched through all the plant identifications and can not find the one I am looking for. I live 6o miles South of Rochester, NY. In my woods, I found 2 plants, that are no where else in the woods or in my fields. At the base of the plant, the leaves are ovate and smooth. They are in a whorled fashion around the base, and have 3 leaves on each stem. The stems shoot up several feet and have branching, in which single, tiny, pale flowers bloom. Some have died and formed a seed. I went through every source and can not locate a picture that identifies it.

ANSWER:

This Mr. Smarty Plants isn't at all sure that she has found your plant.   I have found a few plants that have features that sound something like your description, but nothing that meets your description exactly.

Gillenia trifoliata (Bowman's root) and with sets of three leaves near the base of the plant.  Here is a drawing that shows the three leaves better.

Geum canadense (White avens) with three whorled leaves and here are more photos.

Geum laciniatum (Rough avens) and here are photos.

Geum virginianum (Cream avens) and here is a drawing.

Galium triflorum (Fragrant bedstraw) with 6 whorled leaves on the stem.  Here are more photos and information.

Galium circaezans (Licorice bedstraw) and more photos and information.

Galium asprellum (Rough bedstraw) with 6 whorled leaves.  Here are photos.

If none of these is your plant and you have photos, please visit our Plant Identification page to find links to several plant identification forums that accept photographs for identification.  You might also contact the Finger Lakes Native Plant Society to see if they might have an idea about what your plant could be.

 

From the Image Gallery


Bowman's root
Gillenia trifoliata

White avens
Geum canadense

Cream avens
Geum virginianum

Fragrant bedstraw
Galium triflorum

Licorice bedstraw
Galium circaezans

More Plant Identification Questions

Plant identification
November 14, 2008 - On our farm we found a plant that we had never seen before. It has long stems coming from center ground level and is about 3 feet tall, looks like a fern from far off. The leaves (length of finger) ...
view the full question and answer

Plant identification in Mojave Desert
November 20, 2013 - I need help in identifying a shrub like plant that I found in SW Utah near Beaver Dam, UT (Which is near the Arizona/Nevada border). It is approximately 12 inches in height with profuse stems origina...
view the full question and answer

Identification of bluebonnet-like flower
May 14, 2012 - I have discovered a plant that looks like a bluebonnet but is much larger. It has leggy stems and similar leaf structure and the bonnet in more compact with purple vs blue flowers. The plant is growin...
view the full question and answer

Plant Identification of plant similar to Oxytropis campestris
June 08, 2012 - This plant was found in Breckenridge Texas. Yellow flowers like Oxytropis campestris, yet it is not supposed to be in Texas. Is this possible? Soil is gravelly, sandy and yellow clay. sorry no pho...
view the full question and answer

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

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