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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.

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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.

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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.

 
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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

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