En EspaŅol

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
Can't find the answer in our existing FAQs, submit a question to Mr. Smarty Plants.
Need help with plant identification, visit the plant identification page.
 
rate this answer
Not Yet Rated

Saturday - July 21, 2012

From: Redrock, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Plant Identification
Title: Plant identification
Answered by: Nan Hampton

QUESTION:

Can't i.d a small aroid, arisaema(?) sp.; 5" tall. tuber 12" tall by 1" beginning 8" beneath the soil level. flowers are black spathes with white spots. leaves are alternate. common plant but discreet. find them in dirt parking lots and dirt roads exposed, full sun, hard gravel and sandy soils. before it blooms it looks like a lanky indian paintbrush start.

ANSWER:

This sounds like Aristolochia erecta (Swanflower).  It is in the Family Aristolochiaceae (Birthwort Family) but its flowers do resemble some of those of the Arisema spp., Family Araceae (Arum Family).  You can see in the USDA Plants Database distribution map that it occurs in Bastrop County.  Here are more photos from the School of Biological Sciences at the University of Texas and information from eFloras.org.

 

From the Image Gallery


Swanflower
Aristolochia erecta

Swanflower
Aristolochia erecta

Swanflower
Aristolochia erecta

Swanflower
Aristolochia erecta

More Plant Identification Questions

ID for Dill-like weed
February 12, 2009 - I live in Richmond,VA.and have a man made dam for a pond fed by several springs. There's a scruffy weed that looks like dill weed when it emerges in the spring but is so tough that I can't pull it u...
view the full question and answer

Keys for identification of native plants in Ohio
April 22, 2005 - Do you know of any good web sites that provide keys for the identification of native plants? I'm conducting a wetland plant inventory in southwestern Ohio.
view the full question and answer

Plant identification--vine with spiny pods in California
July 05, 2010 - I came across a vine while hiking in Orange County, CA. It didn't have flowers on it but has 3 or 4 inch spiny pods. What is it? The vine itself looks similar to a Morning Glory vine.
view the full question and answer

Visual difference between Yarrow and Queen Anne's lace in Austin, TX?
May 16, 2011 - What is different, visually, between yarrow and Queen Anne's lace?
view the full question and answer

Identification of daisy-like yellow flower
March 12, 2012 - Georgetown, TX - I have two flowers blooming in my field that I can't identify. One is strong gold and the other strong orange. I cannot identify the leaf pad. There are no leaves on the stem which...
view the full question and answer

Smarty Plants's Facebook profile Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.

Mr. Smarty Plants wants you to be his Facebook friend. Click the Facebook icon to add yourself to Mr. Smarty Plants list of friends.
E-NEWSLETTER | BECOME A MEMBER | DONATE NOW | MEDIA | SITEMAP
© 2014 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center