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

Native orchids in Bowie and Harris Counties
July 02, 2015 - Hi Mr. Smarty Plants, I was wondering what types of orchids are native to Bowie County and Harris County.
view the full question and answer

Plant identification
June 23, 2008 - Hi, I live in southeastern PA, and want to identify a wildflower . It about 36" tall, with a showy red spiked flower at the top, appox. 2" in diameter. Thanks, Robin
view the full question and answer

Identification of a vine with 3 leaves and a red trunk
January 02, 2014 - What is a vine with 3 leaves that has a red trunk?
view the full question and answer

Fringe tree appropriate for Libertyville IL
July 05, 2009 - I live in Libertyville Illinois and admired a fringe tree on the Biltmore Estate. Are the weather & soil conditions conducive to having a fringe tree in this area?
view the full question and answer

Identification of native Texas plants from a list
February 09, 2008 - Please identify Texas Native Plants from the list below: Cotoneaster, Bi-color Iris, Greencloud Sage, Dwarf Wax myrtle, Nolina, Spineless prickly pear, Gulf Muhly, Bamboo Muhly, Big Muhly, Maiden Gra...
view the full question and answer

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