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?


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

Tuesday - September 10, 2013

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


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!


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.



More Plant Identification Questions

Plant identification
June 01, 2010 - I was walking in the woods, near Dresden Michigan yesterday, in a deer friendly area, where we came upon a grouping of large, umbrella leaved plants, seemed to be interconnected and only one foot high...
view the full question and answer

Plant identification
June 11, 2011 - This plant will grow 12-15 feet or more in height in the rural areas of Ellis County south of Dallas. In a fractal manner, stems grow out of the stalk and then from the stems. The leaves are green, th...
view the full question and answer

Identification of seedlings
December 20, 2014 - So..last spring I spread out a bag of random Texas wildflower seed I bought at Home Depot. Bautiful things happened. Since that time I've collected seeds while out camping etc and just been chunking ...
view the full question and answer

Identification of plant that looks like a spider plant
February 25, 2008 - Okay Mr. Smarty Pants, I have an identification for you. I have no pictures, but I've been staring at this plant for weeks trying to figure out what it is. I got it as a cutting from a friend who got...
view the full question and answer

Identification of shrub with white flowers in Arkansas
April 09, 2014 - I have about 15 flowering shrubs that just started blooming in a cut-over. They are about 6/7 feet tall and have an entire crown of white blooms that resemble a cross between a Dandelion and a Marigol...
view the full question and answer

Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.
© 2015 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center