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

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

Plant identification
September 05, 2011 - This incredible plant has grown up in the past two months. Considering the extreme heat of this summer, my husband assumes it must be a weed. We have had this skinny strip of dirt for four years, and ...
view the full question and answer

Plant ID from Woodcreek TX
January 27, 2012 - I would like to attach a photo of a weed in my lawn and have you identify it. How do I send a photo? I have been told it may be ground ivy. Please tell me how to kill it without damaging the lawn.
view the full question and answer

Identification of pink flower near Austin
April 10, 2008 - My mother found a flower early this spring at Chrystal Falls park just outside of Austin. It was between red and salmon pink in color, tubular in shape and about 4 inches long. It smells very bad, a...
view the full question and answer

Help identify a plant.
February 21, 2008 - Could you help me to identify this plant?
view the full question and answer

Does goldenball leadtree (Leucaena retusa) have thorns?
July 26, 2010 - I have a plant that I am told is a native Texas plant, but the person I got it from could not remember its name. They said it was very hardy and drought tolerant. It looks a little like goldenball lea...
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