En Español

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
3 ratings

Monday - March 12, 2012

From: Georgetown, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Plant Identification
Title: Identification of daisy-like yellow flower
Answered by: Nan Hampton

QUESTION:

Georgetown, TX - I have two flowers blooming in my field that I can't identify. One is strong gold and the other strong orange. I cannot identify the leaf pad. There are no leaves on the stem which is about 8 inches. The flower head is about 1 1/2 inch in diameter. They look like a daisy. They are a composite flower, the rays overlap at the base and have smooth edges. The disk flower is about 1/4 inch in diameter and has a very small brown center surrounded by yellow surrounded by a black ring. Can you tell me what these are. I cannot find them in any book or on your website. Thank you.

ANSWER:

It is often quite difficult to identify a plant from a description alone, even more so for yellow flowers in the Family Asteraceae (Aster Family).   Since there are so many of them with yellow flowers, it often requires the arrangement and shape of the leaves to get an identity.  That said, I will give you some possibilities and perhaps you can determine if your mystery flower is one of them:

Coreopsis basalis (Coreopsis)

Coreopsis linifolia (Texas tickseed) and you can see additional photos here

Coreopsis tinctoria (Plains coreopsis)

Engelmannia peristenia (Engelmann's daisy)

Helianthus annuus (Common sunflower)

Silphium radula (Roughstem rosinweed)

Thelesperma filifolium (Stiff greenthread)

Just for your information—because of the mild winter plus the welcome rain we have gotten since last spring and summer's severe drought, many flowers were found blooming in February that don't normally bloom then.   So, don't be surprised to see that the "Bloom Time" on the species' pages above doesn't fall in February.  As an example, here are a couple of yellow flowers that Steve Schwartzman found blooming in January and photographed for his "Portraits of Wildflowers" page:

Coreopsis tinctoria and Engelmannia peristenia

 

From the Image Gallery


Goldenmane tickseed
Coreopsis basalis

Texas tickseed
Coreopsis linifolia

Plains coreopsis
Coreopsis tinctoria

Engelmann's daisy
Engelmannia peristenia

Common sunflower
Helianthus annuus

Roughstem rosinweed
Silphium radula

Stiff greenthread
Thelesperma filifolium

More Plant Identification Questions

Identification of maypop north of Houston
March 08, 2008 - I have some land in the country an hour north of Houston, Texas. There is a wild plant which grows in clusters from 10' to 20' wide. These plants grow about 6" or 12" apart.They are approx. one fo...
view the full question and answer

Bermuda, not the only option in Memphis
November 04, 2014 - I'm building an energy efficient home in Memphis and want to extend that strategy to the landscaping. I'd like to plant native grasses, but this lot is surrounded by lots sodded with Bermuda grass....
view the full question and answer

Identity of fleshy three-leaved vine in Central Texas
June 20, 2015 - I have a 3 leaved evergreen vine, that I assume is a central Texas native, growing in my yard in a non irrigated mostly shady spot. It has a strong odor when touched and looks and feels like a succule...
view the full question and answer

Plant ID from New York
September 02, 2008 - I have a large leaf from a plant that my grandfather has. We live in Niagara county NY. The large leaf is green and has a red stem, growing on a stalk THICK like a sunflower, now has red or black berr...
view the full question and answer

Plant identification
July 07, 2010 - This should be an easy one. I would like to identify a plant that grows along river banks, usually up to the edge of the water and within 50' of water course, and is very common. It is up to 8' in ...
view the full question and answer

Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.
E-NEWSLETTER | BECOME A MEMBER | DONATE NOW | MEDIA | JOBS | SITEMAP | STAFF INTRANET
© 2016 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center