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
1 rating

Monday - May 13, 2013

From: Austin, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Plant Identification
Title: Identification of Queen Anne's Lace look-alike
Answered by: Nan Hampton

QUESTION:

I am trying to identify a plant/weed that grows here in Austin but I haven't found an exact match in your databases. It looks very similar to Queen Anne's lace and to your photos of yarrow but the leaves are not feathery. It has a long skinny stem topped by tiny snowflake shaped flowers. Few leaves that are serrated but not fern-like. Any ideas?

ANSWER:

My best guess would be the native, Daucus pusillus (American wild carrot).   It is actually the same genus as Daucus carota (Queen Anne's lace), the European and southwest Asian species that has been introduced into North America and it looks very similar to it.  Here are more photos of Queen Anne's lace and of American wild carrot (also called Rattlesnake Weed) for comparison's sake.  In case that isn't the plant you've seen, here are some other possibilities:

One of the Hymenopappus spp.  For instance, Hymenopappus artemisiifolius var. artemisiifolius (Oldplainsman), Hymenopappus scabiosaeus var. corymbosus (Carolina woollywhite) and Hymenopappus tenuifolius (Chalk hill hymenopappus) occur in Travis County.

Bifora americana (Prairie bishop)

Cicuta maculata (Spotted water hemlock)

Osmorhiza longistylis (Longstyle sweetroot)

One of the Parthenium sppParthenium confertum (Gray's feverfew) and Parthenium hysterophorus (Ragweed parthenium), an introduced species.  Here are more photos from Southeastern Flora.

One of the Valerianella spp.  There are three species found in Travis County—Valerianella amarella (Hairy cornsalad), Valerianella radiata (Beaked cornsalad), and Valerianella stenocarpa (Narrowcell cornsalad).

If none of these are the plant you have seen and you do have photos of it, I suggest that you visit our Plant Identification page to find links to several plant identification forums that will accept photos for identification.

 

From the Image Gallery


American wild carrot
Daucus pusillus

American wild carrot
Daucus pusillus

American wild carrot
Daucus pusillus

Old plainsman
Hymenopappus artemisiifolius

Carolina woollywhite
Hymenopappus scabiosaeus

Chalk hill hymenopappus
Hymenopappus tenuifolius

Prairie bishop
Bifora americana

Longstyle sweetroot
Osmorhiza longistylis

Gray's feverfew
Parthenium confertum

Hairy cornsalad
Valerianella amarella

Beaked cornsalad
Valerianella radiata

More Plant Identification Questions

Identity of plant with purple flower and tomato-like fruit
April 24, 2012 - Along the Lake Erie shoreline in Buffalo there is a summer blooming plant with a purple flower and hard flattened tomato like fruit, diameter of a quarter. It has pretty small green leaves with fine ...
view the full question and answer

Plant Identification
May 01, 2009 - Curious about the identification of the foxglove-looking plants flowering along the railroad tracks that parallel Lancaster in Handley. Some are white while others are purple. Leaves are about 2-3 inc...
view the full question and answer

Wildflower in southeastern Pennsylvania
May 20, 2008 - I live in southeastern Pennsylvania and want to identify a wild flower that is common along small town and rural roads and highways. It is blooming now (Mid May), has a flower spike similar to a larks...
view the full question and answer

Difference between invasive Chinese and Japanese wisterias and native wisteria
September 12, 2014 - Dear Mr or Ms Smarty Plants, Is there any way I can tell for sure if my wisteria is native? I bought it at a place when it was in bloom that sold a lot of native plants. I Would like to know for sure...
view the full question and answer

Plant identification
June 27, 2011 - I have a plant my Dad had found years ago. Last of April a stem with bulb shaped bottom. May 6-stem opened and folded back exposing spotted inside of leaf. Bottom had yellow pollen? and green stem 2+ ...
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