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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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Thursday - October 31, 2013

From: Spokane Valley, WA
Region: Northwest
Topic: Plant Identification
Title: Plant Identification
Answered by: Nan Hampton

QUESTION:

I have a plant that is about 6ft high, single stem or 2 or 3 together. from this stem are leaves, alternate and large, about 5-6 inches long, they are about 2.5" wide, irregular edges from the middle to the point. The leaves have no lobes. The most distinctive feature of this plant (to me) are the tubers. From root stalks there are white tubers at the ends from the size and shape of a cherry tomato to a more elongated shape and size of a small pear. I cannot find this plant after looking at several databases including usda. The stem or stalk is green, easy to break in half today (10-31-13). Thank you so much for your help.

ANSWER:

Your plant sounds fascinating but I'm afraid your description doesn't immediately bring any native plant to mind.  I think it is going to take photos to identify it.   Please visit our Plant Identification page to find links to several plant identification forums that will accept photos of plants for identification.  Please be sure to read the "Important Notes..." section about submitting images.

 

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