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?


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

Tuesday - September 27, 2011

From: Mayville, NY
Region: Northeast
Topic: Plant Identification
Title: Identification of plant on shores of Lake Erie
Answered by: Nan Hampton and Anne Bossart


I've used Newcomb's and several other guides but cannot ID: Green small dot like flowers, found on the beach of Lake Erie in Dunkirk NY, many of them growing right in the sand. Smells very much, a tinge of lemon, sort of Artemesia-like, not entirely pleasant. Small, alternate deeply lobed leaves, blend right in with the flowers. Most of these plants are about or under a foot tall. Can you help? This is driving me nuts. Thank you! Karen


We would love to help but I'm afraid we weren't able to definitively give a name to your plant.  One of us lives in your general neighborhood (Anne lives in Ontario), but the only plant she could come up with after consulting her many field guides and sources is Artemisia biennis (biennial wormwood).  Here are more photos.  My search in various references did not find anything else that looks like your description.  Since you compared the plant to an Artemisia species, you might like to look at others of that genus in the Wisconsin Plants database from the University of Wisconsin.

If this isn't the plant you saw and you have photos, please visit our Plant Identification page to find links to plant identification forums that accept photos.  You might also like to contact someone in the Finger Lakes Native Plant Society, the New York Flora Association and/or the New England Wildflower Society

Best of luck!


More Plant Identification Questions

Plant identification for Beeville, TX
May 14, 2011 - Today in Beeville, TX I came across a plant that looks like a grass, but has a small black and white dotted flower. The flower looks like an orchid. Could you identify this or give me direction as t...
view the full question and answer

Picture of Castilleja purpurea
February 08, 2015 - Can you tell me what the seedling for Castilleja purpurea looks like? Or do you have a picture?
view the full question and answer

Plant with no leaves, flexible and stores water
January 09, 2009 - Do you now a plant that has no leaves but stores a lot of water and is very flexible? Maybe a type of vine? Thank you!
view the full question and answer

Identification of shrub in South Carolina
December 12, 2011 - First, I'm in Iraq but trying to write a book and have a question on a plant that grows in South Carolina. All I can do is describe it. The bush is normally green but turns red, has large leaves, kin...
view the full question and answer

Differences between Lantana urticoides and Lantana camara
July 13, 2012 - I have found an orange variety of lantana growning in several location in Jefferson County. Is there any way I can tell for sure if it is L. camara or the native L. urticoides?
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.
© 2015 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center