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?

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

Monday - August 13, 2012

From: Austin, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Plant Identification
Title: Identity of very tall plants in Austin, TX
Answered by: Nan Hampton

QUESTION:

I have these huge tall plants. They don't seem to want to bloom and they are shading out my other natives. They get very tall. 10 feet or so. What is it?

ANSWER:

Well, a little more about the plants would be a great help in identifying them; for instance, information about leaf shape, leaf arrangement on the stem, plant shape, whether the plants are growing in a flower bed, in a field, etc.  However, knowing what happens to be growing around Austin right now and can grow quickly into a tall plant in one season, I'm placing my bet on:

 Ambrosia trifida var. texana (Giant ragweed)

Just in case that's not your plant, another possibility would be:  Baccharis neglecta (False willow)

If neither of these is the plant that you are seeing, take photos and then visit our Plant Identification page to find links to plant identification forums that accept photos of plants for identification.

 

 

From the Image Gallery


Texan great ragweed
Ambrosia trifida var. texana

Texan great ragweed
Ambrosia trifida var. texana

Texan great ragweed
Ambrosia trifida var. texana

Texan great ragweed
Ambrosia trifida var. texana

False willow
Baccharis neglecta

False willow
Baccharis neglecta

More Plant Identification Questions

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

Care of non-native plant
March 17, 2016 - I have a plant that grows about 1' tall, looks sort of like a dracaena. The leaves grow off of a short stem and are yellowish (no green at all) with brilliant slashes of hot pink an red. It is georg...
view the full question and answer

Plant identification in Florida
April 03, 2012 - Hello, I have a plant that I bought at a local nursery (now closed). It only came with a label that read "Sun". The plant has many long willowy stems coming up from the ground, green saw-notched lea...
view the full question and answer

Picture in newspaper from Austin
June 02, 2012 - Your gardening story for the Jan 21,2012 in the Austin American Statesman pictured a pale green bush with purple flowers, however the plant was not identified. Can you tell me what it is? Thanks
view the full question and answer

Baby in a manger plant from Rock Hill SC
June 28, 2010 - I'm looking for the correct name for baby in a manger(It's a plant.)
view the full question and answer

Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.
E-NEWSLETTER | BECOME A MEMBER | DONATE NOW | MEDIA | JOBS | SITEMAP | STAFF INTRANET
© 2016 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center