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

Cinnamon scented plant growing along Pennsylvania rivers
August 05, 2013 - I've walked along both the Youghiogheny and Monongahela Rivers around my hometown and I've noticed moments at which time I would smell the strong, sweet aroma of cinnamon. Given the riverside envir...
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

Native orchids in Bowie and Harris Counties
July 02, 2015 - Hi Mr. Smarty Plants, I was wondering what types of orchids are native to Bowie County and Harris County.
view the full question and answer

Control of Smilax bona-nox (saw greenbrier)
June 15, 2007 - We have some property near Round Mountain, Texas. Under and in the oak trees is a vine that has a heart-shaped, shiny leaf and nasty thorns. I'd like to know the name and how best to try to get rid...
view the full question and answer

Identification of Beetleweed or Galax as
February 28, 2006 - My mother will soon celebrate her 100th birthday. For her 1st birthday her mother decorated her highchair with "smilox". I am trying to find out what plant this is. I have found "smilax" but it is...
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 | SITEMAP | STAFF
© 2016 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center