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

Identifying Rhus lanceolata in Texas
April 28, 2013 - Dear Mr. Smarty Plants, I think I've identified two small trees, 4 to 5 feet high at the back fence line and two in the front yard flower beds as prairie flameleaf sumac (or at least some kind of s...
view the full question and answer

Plant identification
June 10, 2010 - I have a tall leafy green plant growing in my garden. It has long flowering limbs that bear a pod that looks like a tiny green pepper. It then turns purple and falls off. The flower that remains is...
view the full question and answer

Plant identification
September 30, 2010 - My husband brought home a plant which I have not been able to id. It is a bush, has 2 ovate to ellipse leaves, whorled, with 4 (2 pairs) smooth thin skinned (you can see white veins under the skin rad...
view the full question and answer

Plant identification
January 08, 2012 - When we moved in to this house, we planted many plants in the front landscaping. After they grew, it became too crowded. We had to move some plants to the backyard. The problem is, we have a plant tha...
view the full question and answer

Tentative identification of Ibervillea lindheimeri
June 22, 2007 - I live close to the Center and found a plant in the park near my house I'd like identified. It was a vine with bright red fruit on it. The fruit was about the size of a cherry tomato but was oblong...
view the full question and answer

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