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
2 ratings

Monday - August 13, 2007

From: Crystal Lake, IL
Region: Midwest
Topic: Plant Identification
Title: Identification of plant in Illinois
Answered by: Nan Hampton

QUESTION:

I've found a plant that I cannot identify. The plant is is very short, 2 inches tall maybe, and has very fragile, thin leaves and stem. The leaves about 1" long, are pinnate, with about 20 leaflets on each leaf (shaped like the leaves of a honeylocust tree). The flower is bright yellow with a dark brownish throat. Looks sort of like a tiny violet or orchid. Found it growing in savannah area. Semi-shade/dappled light, on the edge of my mesic woodland. It's in bloom right now. Any thoughts on what it might be?

ANSWER:

Mr. Smarty Plants loves to identify plants, but it is usually difficult (if not impossible) to do so from a description alone. If you could send us a photograph or two, we will do our very best to tell you the name of your plant. Here are the instructions on how to submit photographs:

1. Tell us where and when you found the plant and describe the site where it occurred.

2. Take several images including details of leaves, stems, flowers, fruit, and the overall plant.

3. Save images in JPEG format, not more than 640 x 480 pixels in size, with resolution set at 300 pixels per inch.

4. Send email with images attached to [email protected] Put Plant Identification Request in the subject line of your email.

You can also read these instructions in the lower right corner of the Ask Mr. Smarty Plants page.

 

More Plant Identification Questions

Identification of plant with crimson tubular flowers
June 06, 2013 - I saw this lovely flower in a field in Cleveland Tx. It was growing in a patch with maybe 4 or 5 other of the same yet only in that area. The flower is crimson red, long and tubular that grow on a woo...
view the full question and answer

Plant identification
June 19, 2011 - I am trying to identify a flowering plant I saw today in Houston. Its leaves are green and it produces beautiful flowers with 4 petals that kind of remind me of a pinwheel. The petals are about 2 inch...
view the full question and answer

Distinguish between Huisache and Goldenball Leadtree
March 23, 2008 - How do you distinguish between Huisache (Acacia farnesiana) and Goldenball Leadtree (Leucaena retusa)? Thanks!
view the full question and answer

Plant identification
August 15, 2008 - Virginia Creeper or something else? I live in McKinney, Tx, and have a limestone escarpment in back that leads down to a "white rock " creek. A wrought iron fence separates the yard area from the ri...
view the full question and answer

Identification of shrub with red berries in Tennessee
January 24, 2014 - Hello, I've got a shrub in my backyard; it has leaves off in groups of 3 and it has multiple reddish berries in groups by the dozens. I'm not sure what plant it is. The shrub is stick-like and appr...
view the full question and answer

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