Rent Shop Volunteer Join

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

Plant identification
April 16, 2009 - There is a plant growing on the side of the road near my home. The stalk of it is thistle like with many prickles. The flower on it is white and has 6 petals.
view the full question and answer

Tall lily with dark berry at leaf attachment
June 25, 2012 - A lily showed up in my flower garden last year (central Illinois); about 3' tall, a single dark berry at the stem where each leaf is attached. It didn't flower. This year it's approaching 4' tall ...
view the full question and answer

Identity of plant with white flowers and serrated leaves in creek bed
September 17, 2012 - I have a wild fall blooming plant, white flowers, serrated leaves. Growing abundantly in my dry creek bed. Any thoughts?
view the full question and answer

Identification of small tree in Florida
August 31, 2012 - I live in Port Saint Lucie, FL. We have a few trees (?) growing in our yard I would like to i.d. They seem to grow quickly have smooth leaves that grow opposite one another and the underside of the ...
view the full question and answer

Identity of plant with cluster of bell-shaped flowers and 2 leaves
April 21, 2012 - In Kirtland, Ohio. Clay soil. Woodsy, moist area. Stem sticks up about 6 inches; stem is bare except for top inch, where 2 leaves and cluster of white drooping bell-like flowers appear. Ball-shaped ...
view the full question and answer

Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.