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Q. Who is Mr. Smarty Plants?

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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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Need help with plant identification, visit the plant identification page.

 
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Saturday - September 20, 2014

From: Eden Prairie, MN
Region: Southwest
Topic: Plant Identification
Title: Plant identification
Answered by: Nan Hampton

QUESTION:

I was recently visiting Texas and kept seeing a particular plant in drainage bottoms and wetland areas (note these areas at the time of my visit were very dry). I was hoping you might be able to help me identify it. I was in Clay county near Windthorp, TX. The plant was about 2ft tall and a light green color. It had not yet flowered as of the second week of Aug. The stalk of the plant was very stiff and rough. The leaves were opposite, lancelet to heart shaped, and also rough on both sides. Leaf margins were serrate (very small). Venation was very defined and raised on the back side of leaves by three parallel veins. It did not have milky sap. I think maybe it is a helianthus sp.? I appreciate any guidance you can provide. I also have pictures I could send you. Thank you!

ANSWER:

Here are five plants that at least partially match your description and occur in or near Clay County, Texas.

Silphium radula (Roughstem rosinweed)  Here are photos and more information from Image Archive of Central Texas Plants.

Helianthus grosseserratus (Sawtooth sunflower)  Here is more information from Illinois Wildflowers.

Hibiscus lasiocarpos (Rose-mallow)  Here is more information from Illinois Wildflowers.

Iva annua (Annual marshelder)  Here are photos and more information from Image Archive of Central Texas Plants.

Helianthus tuberosus (Jerusalem artichoke)  Here are photos and more information from Illinois Wildflowers.

If none of these is the plant that you were seeing, please visit our Plant Identification page to find links to plant identification forums that accept photos of plants for identification.

 

From the Image Gallery


Roughstem rosinweed
Silphium radula

Roughstem rosinweed
Silphium radula

Sawtooth sunflower
Helianthus grosseserratus

Sawtooth sunflower
Helianthus grosseserratus

Woolly rose-mallow
Hibiscus lasiocarpos

Woolly rose-mallow
Hibiscus lasiocarpos

Annual marshelder
Iva annua

Annual marshelder
Iva annua

Jerusalem artichoke
Helianthus tuberosus

Jerusalem artichoke
Helianthus tuberosus

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