Host an Event Volunteer Join Tickets

Support the plant database you love!

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

Thursday - August 07, 2014

From: Galveston, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Plant Identification
Title: Plant identification
Answered by: Nan Hampton

QUESTION:

there is a plant in our yard...I believe it to be in the seed phase..it has 3 or 5 pointed leaves topped with a green fuzzy ball then another set of leaves and a green fuzzy ball..this is continued all the walk up the stock...I have a picture I can send..at first I thought it was a foxglove seed pod but its not slick like they are..please help

ANSWER:

Since it showed up in your yard it probably isn't a native plant but a non-native cultivar whose seed came from someone else's garden.  Since our focus and expertise are with plants native to North America we are not going to be much help with non-natives.   Nevertheless, I will suggest a few native plants in the Family Lamiaceae (Mint Family) which have similarities to your description.  You need to realize that the photos we have usually show the plants in full bloom.   I've tried to find photos of flowers that are past their prime so that they might look like the plant you describe.

Hyptis alata (Clustered bushmint)  Here is a photo from SpaceCoastWildflowers (you will need to scroll down the page to find the photo).

Monarda citriodora (Lemon beebalm)  Here is a photo of a slightly more mature plant.

Monarda clinopodioides (Basil beebalm)  Here is an illustration from PlantsIllustration.org.

Monarda punctata (Spotted beebalm)  Here is a photo from Earth Tones Native.

If none of these is your plant and you say you have photo, please go to our Plant Identification page to find links to several plant identification forums that will accept photos of plants for identification.

 

From the Image Gallery


Clustered bushmint
Hyptis alata

Lemon beebalm
Monarda citriodora

Basil beebalm
Monarda clinopodioides

Lemon beebalm
Monarda citriodora

Lemon beebalm
Monarda citriodora

More Plant Identification Questions

Identification of tree blooming in Austin with yellow balls
March 21, 2012 - What is the tree/large shrub that is blooming now (mid-March) in the Austin area? It has small mesquite-type leaves, round yellow balls with fuzz on them and is fragrant. Thanks!
view the full question and answer

Plant Identification in Houston, TX
October 10, 2013 - This plant to a bout a foot high. It almost looks like a weed and has a 2 in. furry top at the end. Also they were all gathered in a clump randomly around each other. What is this ?
view the full question and answer

Plant identification
June 12, 2008 - We are trying to identify a plant that looks a lot like elephant ear, but has round leaves not heart shaped. It is growing in a wet area that gets good morning sun. It is not a native. It returns e...
view the full question and answer

Plant identification, possibly chile pequin
September 17, 2008 - Found in my back yard a plant about 18 inches tall. it has tiny white 5 petal flowers and small (smaller than a pea) fuits. The fruits smell just like bell pepper. My nose itched after smelling it. ...
view the full question and answer

Dfferences between Argemone arizonica and other Argemones
October 27, 2005 - I am trying to find information about the differences between the Argemone arizonica which grows only in the Grand Canyon and the other Argemones which grow in the rest of the U.S. Do you have any...
view the full question and answer

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