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

Calcium from Eggshells for Ferns?
December 15, 2014 - I was reading recently about beneficial additions to the soil/plant. The first was about soaking used egg shells overnight and then pouring the water onto ferns. They said that the calcium in eggshell...
view the full question and answer

Scientific name for non-native staghorn fern
March 21, 2008 - What is the scientific name for the staghorn fern?
view the full question and answer

Deer resistant plants for area under grand fir (Abies grandis) in Idaho
July 08, 2010 - What can I plant on a slope under Grand Fir trees in North Idaho, zone 4 - anything deer resistant?
view the full question and answer

Identity of fern-like plant in woodland garden
August 04, 2008 - what is the fern-like, hairy fleshy-stemmed, 12"-18" ht plant in my woodland garden
view the full question and answer

Ground cover under Spruces from West Chester PA
December 06, 2012 - Trying to get a native groundcover (or any grass/wildflower/fern) planting established under a small stand of spruces. Established stand (30+ years old), so lots of needles on ground. Just about tot...
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