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

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

Identification of vining plant with red berries in California
January 28, 2016 - We found a vining plant next to and growing in our stream with gorgeous purple leaves in the fall after frost and a few sporadic clusters of smooth small red berries with little thorns on the vine. We...
view the full question and answer

Plant called beargrass from Granbury, TX
September 24, 2011 - I am not a native Texan. We have a clump of what my husband (from Big Spring) calls "Bear Grass." It is over to the side of our yard and we have always enjoyed it (moved here in 1982). It blooms ...
view the full question and answer

Which one is huajillo and which one is guajillo?
November 19, 2013 - Recently I attended a field trip to the Leonard Garden at the Kleberg Institute in Kingsville. I took a picture of a tree that was referred to as Tenaza or huajillo. Later I took another photo of a ...
view the full question and answer

Identification of low growing plants with flowers that resemble a bunch of grapes in Graford, TX
February 10, 2011 - I am in northwest TX and I would like to know the name of the early blooming, very low growing plant that has a single bloom on a bare stem--it is dark crimson and the blooms looks like a bunch of gra...
view the full question and answer

Tree with bright green seeds the size of a softball
October 22, 2008 - My daughter has moved to Taylorsville,Ga and thier are trees that drop bright green seed pods that are round and the size of a soft ball. The outer skin resembles a human brain. Do you have any idea w...
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