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

Two-leafed trilliums
June 17, 2012 - Turns out our 2 leafed plant IS a trillium..I saw that another person from our town also asked about trilliums..we are happy to have them, but it is confusing when the third upper leaf is absent or ve...
view the full question and answer

Plant identification
June 01, 2010 - I was walking in the woods, near Dresden Michigan yesterday, in a deer friendly area, where we came upon a grouping of large, umbrella leaved plants, seemed to be interconnected and only one foot high...
view the full question and answer

Plant identification
June 29, 2010 - I live outside of Cincinnati and I have a bush that has long yellowish leaves that grow like a spider plant. Just recently long purple things have grown in the middle of them. Is this normal or should...
view the full question and answer

Mystery Iris-like plant in Tennessee
September 02, 2008 - What is this flower? It came up and bloomed for about five days then died. It was a beautiful white trumpet shaped flower. It had one stem with four flowers. It came up like an Iris but we nver plante...
view the full question and answer

Plant identification in Norman, OK
October 10, 2013 - I have two large plants in my back yard that just sprang up on their own this year. They are beautiful and the butterflies and bees love them. I think they are a type of milkweed, but they don't lo...
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