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

Friday - August 19, 2011

From: Oklahoma City, OK
Region: Southwest
Topic: Plant Identification
Title: Identification of daisy-like wildflower in New Mexico
Answered by: Nan Hampton

QUESTION:

I recently visited Angel Fire, NM and I cannot identify the daisy-like wildflower that was growing there. August seemed to be the favorite time for this flower. I asked the local nursery and they thought it was from the cosmos family. The flower was all over and near the road on the side of a hill, would grow only 4 inches in well traveled areas and yet in areas where it wasn't trampled it would grow maybe three feet.

ANSWER:

You realize, probably, that the Family Asteraceae (Aster Family) with all the daisy-like species has the greatest number of species of all the flowering plant families with over 20,000 species.  Of course, they don't all grow in New Mexico, but the state has a large number.   So, it isn't too likely I could identify this flower you describe.   However, I can give you some help in figuring out what it is.  Here are some possibilities:

1.  Go to our Native Plant Database and, in the green box, scroll down the family list until you find Asteraceae (Aster Family).  Select it and click on "go".  This will give a list of more than 1000 North American species on our database.  Next use the NARROW YOUR SEARCH option in the sidebar to select "New Mexico" from Select State or Province and "Aug" from Bloom Time.  You didn't say what color the flower is, but I'm guessing it is yellow.   You can select the color under Bloom Color.  This will narrow your choices down to 138 species of Asteraceae to look at that are yellow and bloom in August in New Mexico.  Maybe you can recognize it by looking through the choices.

2.  Visit the Native Plant Society of New Mexico website.   Look at their links under "Native Plants" for photos of flowers in the New Mexico area.   You could also contact them and give them a description (be sure to tell them the color of the flowers).  Since they are in the state, they will know what is blooming in profusion there right now.

3.  Visit our Plant Identification page.   There are links to several plant identification forums that will accept photos for identification if you have them.

 

More Plant Identification Questions

Identification of yellow flowers in Wisconsin
June 19, 2012 - We have plants near Madison, Wisconsin that some call lanceleaf coreoposis however I believe they are some type of invasive species. They have yellow flowers, seem to spread by seed. and don't grown ...
view the full question and answer

Tentative identification of Ibervillea lindheimeri
June 22, 2007 - I live close to the Center and found a plant in the park near my house I'd like identified. It was a vine with bright red fruit on it. The fruit was about the size of a cherry tomato but was oblong...
view the full question and answer

Dfferences between Argemone arizonica and other Argemones
October 27, 2005 - I am trying to find information about the differences between the Argemone arizonica which grows only in the Grand Canyon and the other Argemones which grow in the rest of the U.S. Do you have any...
view the full question and answer

Plant identification
May 03, 2010 - I need to identify a weed-like plant ~1 ft high with thick stems, wide leaves ending in a single point and bluish-purple tear shaped petals arranged three in a triangle.
view the full question and answer

Plant identification in Michigan
May 26, 2010 - We are trying to identify a plant in our yard. It is seven inches tall in May, grows to about knee high, has red leaves, flowers in late June, early July. The flower is light pink. It is a perennia...
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