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

Safe distance from foundation for Sycamore from Preston UK
August 24, 2011 - What would be the safe distance to have a sycamore tree near your house so it doesn't affect the foundations?
view the full question and answer

Identification of a Globe Mallow
March 14, 2008 - Mr. SP, Two or three years ago I purchased a mallow at the Wildflower Center that (I was told) had not yet been identified. I have looked at your pictures of Sphaeralcea hastulata which has the same ...
view the full question and answer

Purple wildflowers near Lake Tahoe
November 30, 2009 - I have been tasked with a challenge to find the plant that is "dark purple wild flowers at Lake Tahoe and are a magnificent thing to see in the fall. Interestingly, these wild mountain lake flowers w...
view the full question and answer

Identity of red flower that looks like a blue bell
May 31, 2013 - Looking for the name of a flower that grows in Breckinridge county Kentucky. It's looks similar to the blue bell but blood red in color. Any help is appreciated.
view the full question and answer

Identity of a plant in Florida with red fruit like a small tomato
September 03, 2012 - It looks like a small tomato but it isn't. It has a bunch of flakey seeds on the inside, which are a light brown in color. The outside is red, and I think it starts out growing green and also white....
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