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
2 ratings

Saturday - August 25, 2012

From: Prairie Village, KS
Region: Midwest
Topic: Plant Identification, Herbs/Forbs
Title: Plant identification from Prairie Village KS
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

My friend has identified this plant as a Horseweed. It is 3 1/2 to 4 feet tall. Has a thick, fuzzy single stem. Linear leaves, about 3/4 inch across and 3 or 4 inches long with one or two notches on each side, hang straight down overlapping tightly to the stem. Then there is that bushy top. The bushy top is tightly packed, many small flower stalks with very small leaves. The bloom is about 1/8 inch across, white, single row of petals with a pindot sized yellow center. I would very much like to attach my pictures, but do not see that option. A plant just 3 feet away is the exact duplicate of the Horseweed drawing on Pg. 88 of Field Guide to Wildflowers by Peterson and McKenny. This plant matches their illustration: 3 to 4' tall, single fuzzy stem has the more narrow, less long and less notched linear leaves which are spaced apart, growing straight out. The blossoms are on individually spaced flower stalks. Can you explain the difference? Is "bushy top" not a Horseweed?

ANSWER:

We are sorry, but we are no longer able to accept pictures for plant identification. You can go to our Plant Identification page which has links to several websites that do accept pictures; you may be able to get more information from that.

On the plants in question: there are 3 members of the Conyza (horseweed, butterweed or fleabane) native to North America. Of those, two - Conyza canadensis (Canadian horseweed) and Conyza canadensis var. canadensis (Canadian horseweed) - are native to Kansas. Follow each link to our webpage on that plant. At the bottom of that page, under Additional Resources, you will find a link to Google. Click on that and you will get links to much more information, including pictures.

 

From the Image Gallery


Canadian horseweed
Conyza canadensis

Canadian horseweed
Conyza canadensis var. canadensis

More Plant Identification Questions

Plant identification of thorny shrub in Tennessee
October 03, 2013 - I have a mid to dark green thorny type bush growing on my land in Cosby, Tennessee. I am originaly from NJ and I have never seen it before. The stalk is varigated and the thorns are plentiful and very...
view the full question and answer

Plant identification
July 28, 2012 - I have a plant that looks like a suculent tree with a canopy like an umbrella. It grows every summer & is no more than 5 ft tall. It has tiny spines on it's trunk, which has white spots on it. the en...
view the full question and answer

Plant identification
March 15, 2012 - My daughter took the attached picture of a plant growing along a road in Austin, TX. I've searched the database and several wildflower books and can't find the flower. Can you identify it? Thanks fo...
view the full question and answer

Wild cranberries in Pennsylvania
September 27, 2013 - Where are wild cranberries located in northwest PA, near Brookville?
view the full question and answer

Plant Identification from Lebanon CT
August 25, 2009 - What is that plant-- a wildflower --large thick stalk--flowers can be purple, pink, and very light pink. 3 branches off of stalk--flowers growing up each branch. Flowers smell similar to peonies.Leave...
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