Rent Shop Volunteer Join

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

Please forgive us, but Mr. Smarty Plants has been overwhelmed by a flood of mail and must take a break for awhile to catch up. We hope to be accepting new questions again soon. Thank you!

Need help with plant identification, visit the plant identification page.

 
rate this answer
Not Yet Rated

Monday - July 01, 2013

From: Manchester, MD
Region: Mid-Atlantic
Topic: Plant Identification
Title: Plant identification
Answered by: Nan Hampton

QUESTION:

I picked a beautiful large red wildflower, & by the time I got home, the stem had turned "spikey" and dark black! Very ugly & a little scary as I had never heard of such a flower! Can you identify??

ANSWER:

That does sound like a very strange plant, but I don't really have a clue as to what it is.  I tried a COMBINATION SEARCH in our Native Plant Database choosing "Maryland" from the Select State or Province slot and "Red" from Bloom Color.  I browsed through photos of the resulting plants from the search, but didn't see anything that I thought could be your plant.   You should try the same search to see if I somehow missed your plant.   It is possible that the flower you picked is not a North American native.   If it isn't, then it wouldn't appear in our Native Plant Database.   If you have photos of the wildlflower, you can visit our Plant Identification page to find links to several plant identification forums that accept photos of plants for identification.

 

More Plant Identification Questions

Identification of plant similar to Lindheimer's senna (Senna lindheimeriana)
October 27, 2011 - I purchased "Lindheimer's Senna" at our MG plant sale in Williamson Co. two years ago. My three plants are now 6 ft. tall but I don't think they are Lindheimers. I've searched your plant files ...
view the full question and answer

Which one is huajillo and which one is guajillo?
November 19, 2013 - Recently I attended a field trip to the Leonard Garden at the Kleberg Institute in Kingsville. I took a picture of a tree that was referred to as Tenaza or huajillo. Later I took another photo of a ...
view the full question and answer

Identification of vining plant with red berries in California
January 28, 2016 - We found a vining plant next to and growing in our stream with gorgeous purple leaves in the fall after frost and a few sporadic clusters of smooth small red berries with little thorns on the vine. We...
view the full question and answer

Plant with dark black/purple berries in a cluster
November 06, 2012 - Today at our local dog park we noticed a bush/vine that's been growing up the fence is producing berries. It didn't flower at all. The berries look to have started out green and now are changing t...
view the full question and answer

Identification of possible edible huckleberry in Central Texas
July 20, 2007 - I'm trying to identify a plant in my backyard, and in particular, I'm wondering if it's an edible huckleberry of some kind. Given all the rain Austin has had this summer, I wonder if it's not bey...
view the full question and answer

Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.