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

Plant identification request from Wales, United Kingdom
November 17, 2011 - I have a plant that has green and pink leaves and the flowers are dry but are like fingers on a hand. The leaves drop down when it needs watering, which is every other day, and the finger shaped clust...
view the full question and answer

Where do snake herb and skeleton-leaf goldeneye get their names?
October 05, 2014 - Dear Mr. Smarty Plants, Where does snake herb, and skeleton leaf goldeneye get their names from? Thank you.
view the full question and answer

Mystery plant in private garden in Hutchinson MN
July 16, 2009 - I recently toured an amazing private garden. While touring the owner called her potted plant with purple clustered flowers something that sounds like 'pinsta'. Do you have any idea what it might ha...
view the full question and answer

Fog fruit?
June 29, 2009 - In your native plant database listing for Phyla nodiflora one of the common names seems to be misspelled (fog instead of frog). FYI, if wrong, please let me know.
view the full question and answer

Instructions for Plant ID
August 28, 2008 - Hi- I have an unidentified small white flowering plant photo to try to identify. Would you be willing to see what you think it is or refer me to someone to whom I could send it? It was photographed on...
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