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
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

Transplanting native, protected Ostrich fern in New York
September 05, 2006 - Please give advice about how to transplant Matteuccia struthiopteris. What is the best time of year to do this?
view the full question and answer

Environmental factors that affect lifecycle stages of maidenhair fern.
November 07, 2014 - What are the environmental factors that can affect the lifecycle stages of a maidenhair fern, particularly A. trichorleopis? Thank you
view the full question and answer

Identity of a fern-like plant in Nashville TN.
July 30, 2009 - There is a fern like plant that is growing in partial sun in my front yard. It closes and opens with the sun. Its leaves are lacy and long; so far no flowers. I have pictures but not for this format...
view the full question and answer

Container plants for cool weather in Cypress TX
October 02, 2011 - I am a novice gardener and I am looking for some ideas on potted plants for the fall/winter. They would be covered by a roof, but still susceptible to the elements. What can be planted now that will...
view the full question and answer

Pool-side ornamentals for south Louisiana
May 07, 2012 - We live in south Louisiana and are re-doing the plants around our pool. What are some low maintenance, small shrubs (flowering) or other ornamentals that would be good in this area?
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