Contact Us Host an Event Volunteer Join

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
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

List of plants with
January 30, 2007 - Hello, Mr. Smarty Plants, I would like a list of all the plants which have been named for Ferdinand Jacob Lindheimer. I would like to prepare this information for use at the Washington on the Brazos,...
view the full question and answer

Recognizing poison ivy
June 20, 2007 - I am having a difficult time identifying poison ivy. It seems so many plants look like poison ivy can you help me I don't want to kill everything but on the same hand I don't want to itch. Thanks f...
view the full question and answer

Mystery Ground Cover in WI
July 11, 2011 - I am trying to identify a ground cover plant that has started growing in my yard (I'm in central Wisconsin). It is very short, only about 1-2 inches tall and is very thick covering the ground. It h...
view the full question and answer

Plant identification
June 17, 2011 - I have an area of some plants growing wild in woods behind my house. It will creep onto adjoining plants and has a delicate lavender colored flower that is curled up similar to a sweetpea, has a very ...
view the full question and answer

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