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

Saturday - June 16, 2012

From: Rochester, NY
Region: Northeast
Topic: Plant Identification
Title: Plant identification
Answered by: Nan Hampton

QUESTION:

Hello Mr. Smarty Plants: We conducted an Internet search to find a name for a plant we have that has 2 opposing leaves on stalks, and is starting to grow a purple flower in the middle, near the ground. Pics of ground cherries do not match, though one black and white picture seem similar, but no purple flower is mentioned. we are in Rochester, NY and really wondering what we have here! It is about a foot tall and is living in the shade near our hosta plants. It could be a weed or a tree, but nothing seems to match! We will try to attach a picture.

ANSWER:

You can do a COMBINATION SEARCH on our Native Plant Database, choosing "New York" from the Select State or Province option, "Herb" from Habit (general appearance) and "Blue", Purple" and "Violet" from Bloom Color.  This will give you a list of 274 plants.  Almost all of these have thumbnail photos that you can scroll through.   None of these that I could see match your description.   If you have photos, you can visit our Plant Identification page to find links to plant identification forums that accept photos of plants for identification.

 

More Plant Identification Questions

Plant identification for Westcave Preserve
June 16, 2011 - Green greetings! In the canyon at Westcave Preserve last month, I saw a plant I don't know: low, broadish leaves (with rounded edges as I recall); very tall, delicate stems with tiny white flowers sp...
view the full question and answer

Plant identification
August 13, 2008 - Can you identify a shrub in my backyard? It has odd looking seed pods with three chambers and hard black seeds inside roughly 1/8" in diameter. The pods themselves are brown, hard shell, and hang d...
view the full question and answer

Identity of purple-leafed plant in formal garden in Quebec City
August 23, 2013 - I saw a plant in a formal garden in Quebec City that was low growing with purple leaves and clusters of deep purple pods/seeds about the size of grapes.
view the full question and answer

Plant identification, possibly Phytolacca americana (American pokeweed)
September 07, 2010 - What wild growing plant has dark purple berries with a pinkish stem? The purple berries grow on their own stem and not in among the leaves, the leaves are green.
view the full question and answer

Native flowers versus non-natives
June 30, 2014 - Native flowers versus non-natives. What guidelines do use for identification. I come across flowers in different habitats and can't identify them as natives. Also, how do you attach a image to a ...
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
© 2014 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center