Rent Shop Volunteer Join

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

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

QUESTION:

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

ANSWER:

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

Identification of mystery plant in yard in El Paso, Texas
March 24, 2015 - I have a plant bed in my yard with mostly shade, in the winter it looked like 10-15 sticks about 2-3 ft tall coming from the ground. Now early March there are green and maroon leaves only growing at t...
view the full question and answer

Identification of small dome-shaped furry plant, smells like bubblegum
November 21, 2013 - Hi, I always see this plant when I'm on the river trail in Redding CA. and I can't find it anywhere on the internet. The plant is very small, I think it is some type of weeds that grow. It's a ligh...
view the full question and answer

Identity of wild plum in Childress County, Texas
March 16, 2015 - I have a Wild Plum follow up question. My wife grew up around the Childress TX area. She remembers going around the creeks and gathering Wild Plums for her mother as a child. Would you have any ide...
view the full question and answer

Botanical name for a kidney-shaped leaf
June 25, 2009 - Dear Mr Smarty Plants, I love the site.. but I was searching for id on this odd plant I have.. I have lived here a few years now, and have seen them before, never seemingly to have a flower..but ...
view the full question and answer

Identification of strange dark green blobs
February 03, 2012 - In my back yard I have a type of plant with no roots only around in the summer and when it rains. It looks like a person took a piece lettuce and put way too much water into it and wadded it up. It ...
view the full question and answer

Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.