En Español

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?


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

Thursday - August 09, 2012

From: Austin, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: General Botany
Title: Difference between class notes and size notes on website
Answered by: Nan Hampton


I enjoy using the native plant database in planning my flower beds. However, I don't know the difference between Class notes and size notes. Can you help me out?


Mr. Smarty Plants is very happy that you find our Native Plant Database useful in your planning.  I think you are asking about the difference between Size Notes and Size Class found under PLANT CHARACTERISTICS on the species page for the different plants in our Native Plant Database.  Size Class  is a way to categorize the plants into size groups.   One way this data can be used is to search for plants of a particular size in our Native Plant Database using the COMBINATION SEARCH option.   For instance, if you were looking for shrubs in Texas no taller than 5 feet, you would enter "Texas" under Select State or Province, "Shrub" under Habit (general appearance) and "3-6 ft." under Size Characteristics to get a list of more than 70 shrubs within that size category.   You can also search by size class if you use any of the lists on our RECOMMENDED SPECIES page by using the NARROW YOUR SEARCH in the side bar when you open any of the lists.  Size Notes, on the other hand, gives you information about the size of the particular species for that page.  For instance, on the page for Juniperus ashei (Ashe juniper) you see that it is in the 12-36 ft. Size Class and its Size Notes say "Rarely grows over 30 feet tall."  You will probably notice that most plants have data for the Size Class, but some do not have data for Size Notes since those are more specific.  As we learn the specifics of the size of individual species they are added to the Native Plant Database.


More General Botany Questions

Why do some flowers open during the day and close at night?
April 08, 2009 - My son is doing a science fair project on the California Poppies. We are trying to find the definitive answer on why the flowers open during the day and close at night.
view the full question and answer

What does the name montana mean in a species name?
August 21, 2015 - What does the name montana mean in a species name?
view the full question and answer

How Do Persimmons Breed - Starkville, MS
August 14, 2012 - Thank you for your earlier response about the genders of native persimmon trees. We have two, a much larger one that has borne fruit for years and years and a smaller one that I'd just assumed was m...
view the full question and answer

Withering plants recover with water
February 17, 2008 - Why do withering plants stand up when you give them water?
view the full question and answer

Native subarctic plants
March 26, 2008 - I'm doing a project on subarctic things and I have to have subarctic plants in it. I need to know a few and about them. Can you help?
view the full question and answer

Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.
© 2016 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center