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

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

More Plant Identification Questions

Plant identification
August 16, 2008 - I walk in a wooded area. There is a plant with large spade like leaves.It grow to about 4 to 6 ft. In other areas it has grown almost tree-like with green sticky nuts or seeds. I believe it had purple...
view the full question and answer

Control of Smilax bona-nox (saw greenbrier)
June 15, 2007 - We have some property near Round Mountain, Texas. Under and in the oak trees is a vine that has a heart-shaped, shiny leaf and nasty thorns. I'd like to know the name and how best to try to get rid...
view the full question and answer

Identity of large, sunflower-like plant
November 13, 2011 - We are trying to figure out the identity of a large, sunflower-like plant. It is a perennial that sends out approximately 10-12 stalks about 10 feet high. It then starts to bloom with small sunflowe...
view the full question and answer

Plant identification
November 01, 2007 - I am trying to identify a wild flowering plant. It grows in pastures near Rhome Texas. How can I email a digital photo to you to look at it??
view the full question and answer

Plant identification
August 17, 2009 - I am trying to identify a plant in Crocket County Texas. It looks similar to a small thistle. It has purple thorny bulbs on it, the stem and leaves also are thorny.
view the full question and answer

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