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: Trussville, AL
Region: Southeast
Topic: Plant Identification
Title: Plant identification of conifer-like low plant in Alabama
Answered by: Nan Hampton


When walking in woods of Alabama we found a plant that grows along the ground. looks like a conifer about 2 or 3 inches tall, has a trailing vine under the leaves and pops up little sprigs of greenery every 2 inches or so. What the heck is it? Thank you. Trussville, Alabama


This sounds like Lycopodium digitatum (Fan clubmoss).  It isn't a flowering plant; instead, it is a relative of the ferns and reproduces by spores.  Here are more photos and information.

If this isn't your plant and you have photos, please visit our Plant Identification page to find links to plant identification forums that accept photos for identification.


From the Image Gallery

Fan clubmoss
Lycopodium digitatum

More Plant Identification Questions

Non-native astilbe resemblance to non-native poisonous castor bean from Tomslake BC
May 21, 2014 - I have a plant that looks like a castor bean but it has flowers like a Younique Silvery Pink Astilbe. Need to id because castor bean is poisonous. This plant grows up to 5 feet in height. Thank you !
view the full question and answer

Muscari neglectum image
March 23, 2007 - I am doing a school project and found a native plant on the native plant information network image gallery. It is plant NPIN Image Id 524. What is it's name?
view the full question and answer

Plant identification
August 28, 2008 - Hello. There is a plant growing next to my 4 o'clocks that I didn't plant which is almost the same height as them, but has different leaves and it grows wider. It has these huge light green upside d...
view the full question and answer

Plant ID in Arkansas
October 29, 2014 - Harrison, Ark I borrowed pix, hope they can be seen. Fast growing, 5' popped up in area- it screams abutilon to me, but the flower doesnt. Waited til Sept to bloom. Nowhere for pic. Green/ yellow tub...
view the full question and answer

Plant identfication for Roosevelt Park, NY
August 28, 2009 - Looking for the name and chemical breakdown of a tree. Its leaves are green with heart like puffs blooming out. This tree was seen at Roosevelt Park, Long Island NY 11575
view the full question and answer

Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.
© 2015 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center