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 - August 05, 2013

From: Pittsburgh, PA
Region: Mid-Atlantic
Topic: Plant Identification
Title: Cinnamon scented plant growing along Pennsylvania rivers
Answered by: Nan Hampton

QUESTION:

I've walked along both the Youghiogheny and Monongahela Rivers around my hometown and I've noticed moments at which time I would smell the strong, sweet aroma of cinnamon. Given the riverside environments, what's the most likely plant life that may be causing the strong smell? Thank you for your time.

ANSWER:

Here are some possibilities.  All of these plants grow in Pennsylvania—both the natives and non-natives:

Discorea oppositifolia [synonym: Discorea batatas] (Cinnamon vine, Chinese yam or potato vine) an Asian native that occurs in Pennsylvania.   Here are more photos and information from Virginia Tech Weed Identification Guide.

Dodecatheon meadia (Pride-of-ohio) is native to Pennsylvania.   Here is more information from Crescentbloom.com.

Hesperis matronalis (Dame's rocket) is a Eurasian native and is considered invasive or a noxious weed in many parts of the US.  It does grow in Pennsylvania.  Here is more information from Seedaholic.com.

 Calycanthus floridus (Eastern sweetshrub) is native to Pennsylvania.  Here is more information from Plants for a Future.

 

 

From the Image Gallery


Eastern shooting star
Dodecatheon meadia

Eastern shooting star
Dodecatheon meadia

Eastern shooting star
Dodecatheon meadia

Eastern sweetshrub
Calycanthus floridus

Eastern sweetshrub
Calycanthus floridus

More Plant Identification Questions

Picture for plant identification from Danville PA
May 30, 2013 - Is there a way that I could send a picture of a plant for identification?
view the full question and answer

Plant ID in Springfield OR
July 08, 2009 - I recently discovered a wildflower closely resembling the Oregon Lady Slipper, apparently a wild orchid, but with many blooms on a single long stem and with no apparent leaves. I'd like more informat...
view the full question and answer

Plant identification.
May 23, 2009 - Looking for the name of a green, bamboo-like plant with narrow leaves. Have no pictures.
view the full question and answer

Weed identification
February 27, 2012 - Weeds / Wildflower. I dream of a photo identification for weeds / wildflowers that pop up in my garden here in Austin, Texas. Maybe I don't want to pull them up. How do I know? Do you know of a b...
view the full question and answer

Mystery berries on vine in Montgomery County, TX
August 09, 2013 - While out in the woods today on Caney Creek near Grangerland, Texas, I found what I thought to be some grapes on a vine hanging down from a tree. I brought the vine down, but when I got it home to pr...
view the full question and answer

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