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

Monday - August 29, 2011

From: Chicago, IL
Region: Midwest
Topic: Plant Identification
Title: Plant Identification
Answered by: Nan Hampton

QUESTION:

Hi- I am currently am AP Biology student and have two plants left to identify that I found at a lily pool in Chicago. Can you help me identify them? One I believe is a fern, the other a flower. Thanks!

ANSWER:

Sorry, but we no longer accept photos of plants for identification.  We were overwhelmed with photos and don't have enough staff and volunteers to do the research to identify the plants in the photos.  As you can read on our Plant Identification page:

"We would love to spend all day identifying native plants for you folks! However, we already spend all day (and most of the night) answering your native plant questions. Luckily, there are some excellent forums available to help you identify those mysterious unknowns."

We are sometimes able to identify plants from descriptions, but it isn't too likely we could with only a description—especially with ferns.  Your best bet is to visit our Plant Identification page where you will find links to several plant identification forums that accept photos for identification. 

You might also contact someone at the Northeast Chapter of the Illinois Native Plant Society.

You can also use our Native Plant Database to search for the identity of the plants yourself.  Choose COMBINATION SEARCH and enter Illinois in the Select State or Province option and then you can two searches: 

1) select "Fern" from the Habit (general appearance) option and "Moist - " or "Wet - " from Soil Moisture

2)  select "Herb" from Habit (general appearance) and and "Moist - " or "Wet - " from Soil Moisture.   If you have a flower color for the herb, you can add that and the time it was blooming under Bloom Time and Bloom Color.

 

More Plant Identification Questions

Plant Identification from Honolulu HI
April 24, 2014 - We have a ground cover in our Honolulu garden that I have been told is Watermelon Plant. (Not the fruit). We would like more, but cannot find it or the proper name for it. Aprox. 6" round leaf. It...
view the full question and answer

Rash resulting from cutting trees in NC.
May 08, 2012 - My boyfriend was cutting some trees yesterday. He had thorns in his hands after he was done, and today he has a rash on his legs, a fever and he feels like throwing up. Can you tell me if its symptoms...
view the full question and answer

Plant identification
August 15, 2008 - Virginia Creeper or something else? I live in McKinney, Tx, and have a limestone escarpment in back that leads down to a "white rock " creek. A wrought iron fence separates the yard area from the ri...
view the full question and answer

Florida hanging vine with occasional red tongue-like leaves
December 01, 2011 - I live in south Florida and I used to grow a hanging vine that had green slender leaves and an occasional red leaf that looked like a tongue that protruded horizontally from the plant. do you know wha...
view the full question and answer

Plant Identification
April 25, 2009 - What is: square stalk perennial with bright yellow flowers at the top (mainly)? Starts growing first thing in spring, invades surrounding areas, puts out long serrated leaves along the 7-8 ft stalks....
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
© 2014 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center