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

Monday - July 22, 2013

From: Sylvania, OH
Region: Midwest
Topic: Plant Identification
Title: Plant identification
Answered by: Nan Hampton

QUESTION:

I've lived at my apartment complex for a year now and this current spring/summer I noticed the grounds keeper leaving a fern like plant that is approx. 1-2 feet tall and approx. 1 foot wide. It's leaves are a blue or green color with the largest cluster of yellow flowers being near 3 inches. Some are smaller though. This plant is making very nervous. I cant send any pictures in this question, but I can in an email.

ANSWER:

Our focus and expertise here at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center are with plants native to North America.  Plants on the grounds of apartment complexes are most often cultivated plants that have been imported for the landscaping trade and NOT native plants.  Your description of the plant doesn't immediately suggest a plant native to Ohio, but I can tell you that it isn't a fern since ferns are non-flowering plants.  However, if you think it may be a native plant, you can do a search in our Native Plant Database for it.  Under COMBINATION SEARCH on the Native Plant Database page, select "Ohio" from the Select State or Province slot, "yellow" from Bloom Color, and "1-3 ft." from Height.  This will give you a list of more than 90 species to scroll through.   Most of the species have photographs with them.

Probably the surest way to find the plant's identity is to visit our Plant Identification page to find links to several plant identification forums that will accept photos of plants to identify.  Be sure to read the Important Notes with tips on the features your photos should show. 

Also, you might ask the grounds keeper about the plant.  He may know its identity and be able to tell you a great deal about it.

 

More Plant Identification Questions

Plant identification
March 15, 2012 - My daughter took the attached picture of a plant growing along a road in Austin, TX. I've searched the database and several wildflower books and can't find the flower. Can you identify it? Thanks fo...
view the full question and answer

Is there a red esperanza (Tecoma stans)?
October 06, 2011 - There is a red esperanza that I pass by everyday on my way home from work. I have never seen this plant anywhere but this particular spot. Is there really a variety that is red or do you think it is...
view the full question and answer

Identity of plant growing on deck
May 12, 2012 - I can't find the name of a plant that I had on my deck, it didn't come back this year. It was a bush like plant that grew wild, it bloomed May thru August with red small flowers. My deck gets full...
view the full question and answer

Key for Verbesina virginica
June 16, 2014 - Are the stems of Verbesina virginica hairy? My in-laws have what I believe is Verbesina virginica (blooms in September here in VA) and another wild flower that blooms before it and is yellow. I'd l...
view the full question and answer

Plant ID from Chicago
August 18, 2010 - This plant is VERY common along highways across the entire midwest, and often other parts of the country. It has a long stem with a cluster of white flowers usually only on the top of the stem. The le...
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