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?


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
3 ratings

Saturday - April 20, 2013

Region: Southwest
Topic: Wildflowers
Title: Origins of the Name For Blackfoot Daisies
Answered by: Anne Van Nest


Can you tell me why blackfoot daisies are named “blackfoot”?


Tracing the origin of the common name for Melampodium leucanthum (blackfoots) stems from the origin of the botanical genus name. Take a look at the Wikipedia website under the genus, Melampodium and you will find the following information... “The name is derived from the Greek words μέλας (melas), meaning "black", and πόδιον (podion), meaning "foot." This refers to the color of the base of the stem and roots. Referenced from Quattrocchi, Umberto (2000). CRC World Dictionary of Plant Names. III: M-Q. CRC Press. p. 1647. ISBN 978-0-8493-2677-6. Members of the genus are commonly known as blackfoots.” Referenced from "Melampodium" in the Integrated Taxonomic Information System.


From the Image Gallery

Blackfoot daisy
Melampodium leucanthum

Blackfoot daisy
Melampodium leucanthum

Blackfoot daisy
Melampodium leucanthum

More Wildflowers Questions

Bluebonnets for Shanghai
June 25, 2012 - I am a Texas native that now lives in Shanghai, and I am trying to grow a little piece of home (Texas bluebonnets) indoors, and I was wondering: a. Do you have any ideal soil recipes that bluebonne...
view the full question and answer

More on bluebonnets
January 22, 2003 - Do you have a sense of a peak viewing time for Bluebonnets for this spring?
view the full question and answer

Recreating a wildflower meadow, central Texas
July 02, 2013 - We have an acre on our property that has bluebonnets. Unfortunately, it also has other plants that we don't want -Johnson grass, nettles, burrs. We plan to do a controlled burn in the fall and re-...
view the full question and answer

What about the Bluebonnets at Muleshoe Bend Recreational Area in Spicewood, TX ?
April 27, 2015 - We had heard about vast field of bluebonnets out at Muleshoe Bend Recreation Area - an LCRA park in Spicewood. We went out today and there are indeed vast fields . . . all where Lake Travis would be ...
view the full question and answer

Bluebonnet peak for 2010
January 14, 2010 - What does 2010 look for bluebonnets in Texas. When will they peak?
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.
© 2015 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center