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

Wednesday - June 06, 2012

From: Grand Prairie, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Plant Identification
Title: Plant similar to a cattail
Answered by: Nan Hampton

QUESTION:

I don't know where this plant grows normally, but I am looking for a plant that is similar to a cat tail, but the petals are not feathery, they are red and waxy and the petals are round almost. Please help. I am trying to find a plant like this for my mom. Thank you.

ANSWER:

First of all, I am not sure if you are talking about the plants named cattails—Typha domingensis (Southern cattail) and Typha latifolia (Broadleaf cattail)—or plants that have a blossom or leaves similar to the tail of a feline.  At any rate, neither possibility brings to mind a native North American plant to me—our expertise and focus are with plants native to North America.   I think your best bet is to visit a very good nursery and describe and possibly draw a picture of the plant you are looking for.   It is very likely that the plant you are looking for is not a native plant and perhaps conversation with a nursery person could give them a good idea about what the plant is.

 

More Plant Identification Questions

Differences between Ratibida columnifera and Ratibida peduncularis
June 03, 2010 - How do you tell the difference between Ratibida columnifera and Ratibida peduncularis. On NPIN columnifera has red and penduncularis is solid yellow, but I have seen pictures listed as columnifera tha...
view the full question and answer

Smarty Plants on Americas national plant
August 07, 2005 - What is America's national plant? (please answer this a.s.a.p because i can't figure it out and it's for homework)
view the full question and answer

Identity of shrub with brownish flowers called cinnamon bush
April 25, 2012 - When I lived in Vernon, CT, my neighbor had a small shrub/tree approximately 5 ft tall with small ovate slightly serrated leaves. In spring it produced reddish brown flowers that were of a hardened p...
view the full question and answer

Plant identification
June 07, 2010 - There are large trees with brilliant orange flowers around Naples FL. Can you tell me what this is?
view the full question and answer

Plant identification
February 20, 2014 - I'm not sure of county of origin. It was given to me by someone I no longer have contact with. When I initially received it I thought it was just a small potted vine of some type. I've had it a yea...
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