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

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

What is sage-like plant in New River AZ?
July 17, 2009 - I have a sage like looking plant growing wild in my yard. I live in the Sonora Desert. Its leaves are purple and once a year in spring it will bloom small blooms that are lavender. It grows 2 to 3 an...
view the full question and answer

Books on Lilies
August 27, 2006 - Dear Sir, I am looking for a book covering the Lily Family as a whole, i.e., it should preferably also discuss other Genera than Lilium only. I am especially interested in Lily members occurring in t...
view the full question and answer

Two-leafed trilliums
June 17, 2012 - Turns out our 2 leafed plant IS a trillium..I saw that another person from our town also asked about trilliums..we are happy to have them, but it is confusing when the third upper leaf is absent or ve...
view the full question and answer

Plant identification
June 25, 2009 - I found a low-growing plant with thick spoon shaped light green leaves. It was growing in the edged of a lawn, The leaves almost look like they have fine white hairs on them. It is very pretty, but wh...
view the full question and answer

Identification of plant resembling garlic mustard, but with purple flowers
May 18, 2012 - While searching for the invasive garlic mustard I am finding a very similar looking plant (triangular, alternate, toothed leaves; four petals, same habitat of shaded roadside and interior woods) excep...
view the full question and answer

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