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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.

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Ask Mr. Smarty Plants is a free service provided by the staff and volunteers at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center.

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Thursday - September 01, 2011

From: Artesia, NM
Region: Southwest
Topic: Plant Identification
Title: Plant identification
Answered by: Nan Hampton

QUESTION:

I have a single stalked plant that has leaves with 5 lobes. Each lobe is also lobed. The leaves are dark green, staggered on the stalk opposite each other. Do you have any ideas what this is?

ANSWER:

You haven't given me a lot to go on here.  It would be nice to know the size of the leaves, the size of the plant and whether its stalk is woody or not.  Does it have flowers?   Did you buy it or did it just sprout up in your flowerbed or did you find it in the woods/in a ditch/in the park?  That would help me figure out it what it might be.  Nevertheless, I will give you a couple of possibilities that somewhat match your description.  Neither of these is a plant native to North America—our specialty—and I haven't thought of any native plants that fit your description.

Your best bet is to photograph the plant and then go to our Plant Identification page to find links to several plant identification forums that accept photos for identification.  Be sure to read the "Important Notes" on that page with instructions for submitting photos.   Also, be certain that your photos are in good focus.

 

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