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?

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
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

Thursday - May 03, 2012

From: Louisa, VA
Region: Mid-Atlantic
Topic: Plant Identification, Ferns
Title: Plant identification from Virginia
Answered by: Nan Hampton

QUESTION:

We found lots of asparagus like stalks growing randomly in our field here in central Virginia. But, instead of an asparagus head it has a tight cluster of leaves that are small and roundish. Any ideas? Thanks so much

ANSWER:

This was a puzzler until I talked with a friend who suggested the leaves are small and roundish in cross section.   If that is the case, I think I have an answer for you.  I think it is one of the species of Equisetum, a relative of ferns, that occurs in Virginia.  There are three species that might fit your description:

If this isn't the plant you have seen and you do have photos of it, please visit our Plant Identification page to find links to several plant identification forums that will accept photos for identification.

 

From the Image Gallery


Field horsetail
Equisetum arvense

Woodland horsetail
Equisetum sylvaticum

More Ferns Questions

Erosion control on partially shaded slope
November 27, 2010 - Mr. Smarty Plants, I live in Atlanta, GA. My house is on a hill, and I am beginning to have erosion at my backyard porch (concrete slab, on the corners especially). The soil is mainly red clay, a...
view the full question and answer

Plants wilting too quickly in Toledo OH
May 27, 2012 - The garden I have had recent issues with plants wilting all too quickly. I would like to know what types of plants would be hearty for the climate in Toledo, Ohio. I have a partly sunny front yard and...
view the full question and answer

Hanging Baskets for Batson, TX
May 23, 2014 - What plants can I put in hanging baskets for my shady porch?
view the full question and answer

Ferns that smell like cucumber
September 27, 2008 - Are there ferns that smell like cucumber?
view the full question and answer

Tropical-looking landscape in Austin, TX
March 24, 2005 - I'd like to have a tropical-looking landscape in my front yard. What plants would you recommend for Austin, Texas? I would prefer plants that can stay outside year-round, but will take suggestions on...
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.
E-NEWSLETTER | BECOME A MEMBER | DONATE NOW | MEDIA | SITEMAP | STAFF
© 2015 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center