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
Not Yet Rated

Thursday - February 14, 2013

From: Conway, AR
Region: Select Region
Topic: Plant Identification
Title: Plant identification
Answered by: Nan Hampton

QUESTION:

Please help identify a flower I saw growing in the woods in central Arkansas last week.It had a light yellow flower growing out of a very flat basal rosette made up of grey-green spade-shaped leaves. The flower was a daisy or buttercup type, up-facing. Sorry I didn't have a camera with me at the time. I have looked for it in the Peterson guide and Carl Hunter's Wildflowers of Arkansas, but I haven't been able to find it.

ANSWER:

What I suspect you saw was an early-blooming plant—one that would normally bloom on a stalk but, because it got the signal to bloom early and the stalk hadn't grown yet, bloomed near the basal leaves.  Our February temperatures—indeed, the past year's temperatures in Texas, at least, have been higher than average. Higher than average temperatures could trigger early blooming.

If you go to our Native Plant Database and do a COMBINATION SEARCH choosing "Arkansas" from Select State of Province, "Herb" from Habit (general appearance), "Feb", "Mar" and "Apr" from Bloom Time and "Yellow" from Bloom Color, you can see more that 80 possibilities for Arkansas natives.  You should check out these possibilities yourself.  The most likely ones that I could see based on your description were:

Krigia virginica (Virginia dwarfdandelion)  Here are photos showing the basal leaves from Illinois Wildflowers and Missouri Plants.

Lindheimera texana (Texas yellowstar)  Here are more photos from the School of Biological Sciences at the University of Texas.

Packera obovata (Golden groundsel)  Here are more photos from the School of Biological Sciences at the University of Texas.

Waldsteinia fragarioides (Appalachian barren strawberry)  Here are more photos and information from Missouri Botanical Garden.

 

From the Image Gallery


Virginia dwarfdandelion
Krigia virginica

Texas yellowstar
Lindheimera texana

Texas yellowstar
Lindheimera texana

Golden groundsel
Packera obovata

Golden groundsel
Packera obovata

Appalachian barren strawberry
Waldsteinia fragarioides

More Plant Identification Questions

Plant ID from Boise ID
July 18, 2012 - I have a plant growing in my bed which resembles a dandelion.. the problem is that it is really tall. Would you be able to take a look at a picture to identify it?
view the full question and answer

Plant Identification
March 11, 2009 - Hello. I don't know if this is a North American native plant, but here's my question: I have a soft, low groundcover that looks like a miniature version of Foxtail Fern. Lowe's folks suggested it m...
view the full question and answer

Identification of bush with red berries
March 11, 2013 - bush? grows along fence lines in rural areas; sheds foliage in fall; berries appear; colors vary from red to orange, depending on soil?
view the full question and answer

Identification of a mint-like plant in California
July 21, 2013 - I found a plant growing near my apricot (in Fresno, California). It has a square stem which becomes more rounded toward the base. The leaves are smooth, opposite, and they have three to five leaflets ...
view the full question and answer

Native flowers versus non-natives
June 30, 2014 - Native flowers versus non-natives. What guidelines do use for identification. I come across flowers in different habitats and can't identify them as natives. Also, how do you attach a image to a ...
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 | STAFF
© 2015 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center