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

Tuesday - July 03, 2012

From: Billerica, MA
Region: Northeast
Topic: Plant Identification
Title: Idendification of plants with white cotton ball flowers
Answered by: Nan Hampton

QUESTION:

A few months ago I found a small plant with a white cotton ball type flower on it. It had red spots. It was on the bank of the Nashua river. I had never seen this before, and I am having a hard time figuring it out! I do have a picture. Thanks for your help!!!!

ANSWER:

Antennaria plantaginifolia (Plantain-leaf pussytoes) sort of fits your description.  You can see more photos and information from Connecticut Wildflowers.  Another possibility (without any noticeable red spots) that grows in damp places such as the bank of rivers is Eriocaulon aquaticum (Common pipewort).   If neither of these is the plant you saw, you can visit our Plant Identification page to find links to several plant identification forums that accept photos for identification.  I'm sorry, but because of the volume of requests, we no longer accept photos for identification.

 

From the Image Gallery


Woman's tobacco
Antennaria plantaginifolia

Seven-angle pipewort
Eriocaulon aquaticum

More Plant Identification Questions

Identification of purple flower near Ft. Worth
April 20, 2011 - I'm doing a Flower Project for my Biology class. My partner and I have found a flower that we cannot identify and neither can our teacher. I found it on Interstate 35 going through Ft. Worth, Texas. ...
view the full question and answer

Plant identification of a potted vine in California
October 04, 2011 - Hi, we have a tropical vine growing in a pot on our patio that my wife bought at the county fair. We've had it for a couple of years but I just noticed it now has a sort of pear like fruit on it. It ...
view the full question and answer

Identification of thorny tree with lemon-like fruit
October 14, 2010 - What would be a small lemon like fruit that grows on a bush with large thorns? The fruit is about the size of a golf ball, kind of fuzzy yellow skin like a lemon and smells like a cross between an or...
view the full question and answer

Identification of a shrub in San Marcos, TX
May 20, 2013 - On a walk in Austin's Barton Creek greenbelt, a Treefolks volunteer identified a shrub that I also have on my property in San Marcos as blue candalia. However I can't find a plant by that name via w...
view the full question and answer

Wild cranberries in Pennsylvania
September 27, 2013 - Where are wild cranberries located in northwest PA, near Brookville?
view the full question and answer

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