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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.

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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.

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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.

 
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Tuesday - September 10, 2013

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

QUESTION:

I love around Pittsburgh Pennsylvania, and I saw a strange plant. It has a soft green outer shell, a harder thinner shell inside, points, but aren't pointy, and a white substance out of the stem when picked. Thanks for your help!

ANSWER:

Mr. Smarty Plants hopes you have a photo of this plant because its description is not bringing any plant that I know of to mind.   If you do have a photo, please visit our Plant Identification page to find links to several plant identification forums that accept photos of plants for identification.   The UBC Botanical Gardens Forum is especially good at identifying plants.  Please read the "Important Notes..." section before you submit your photo.

If you don't have a photo, perhaps you could expand your description a bit.  Are you describing the entire plant or is this its flower or its fruit?  How large is the plant?  What habitat is it growing in?   Does it have leaves?  If so, what are their shapes and how are they arranged on the stem?   Do they come off the stem opposite each other or at alternate spots on the stem?  Is it a woody plant or an herbaceous plant?  Any other information about how the plant is structured would be helpful.

 

 

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