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

Monday - October 15, 2007

From: Fredericksburg, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Plant Identification
Title: Identification of plant, probably Datura.
Answered by: Nan Hampton

QUESTION:

We currently have in bloom a very leggy, about 2 foot high volunteer plant in Fredericksburg, TX that has a segmented stem, single large trumpet shaped flowers that stick straight up about 4 inches in a pale green pod and bloom into milky white flowers usually in the early evening, and that has a burr-covered seed pod with many individual small brown seeds inside. My friend called it a moon flower but no moon flower on the web even remotely looks like it. Any idea what plant this could be?

ANSWER:

This sounds like Datura wrightii (sacred thorn-apple), or at least one of the species of Datura. Other possibilites are Datura inoxia (Indian apple) and Datura stramonium (jimson weed), but your description sound most like D. wrightii. It is a Texas native and has been found in Gillespie County. The other two are introduced species but have also been found in, or very near, Gillespie County. Please note that all species of Datura are toxic, if eaten, to humans and other animals.

If none of these is your plant, please send us photos and we will be happy to try to identify it. For instructions on how to submit photographs, please visit the Ask Mr. Smarty Plants page and read about "Plant Identifcation" in the lower right corner.


Datura wrightii

Datura wrightii

Datura wrightii

 

 

 

More Plant Identification Questions

Plant identification in Norman, OK
October 10, 2013 - I have two large plants in my back yard that just sprang up on their own this year. They are beautiful and the butterflies and bees love them. I think they are a type of milkweed, but they don't lo...
view the full question and answer

Information about a red-flowered Pavonia lasiopetala in central TX.
September 07, 2010 - I have grown Pavonia for years and just let it re-seed where it wants (and remove if I don't want it where it falls). This year I created a new 6 inch raised bed amended with compost and some manure...
view the full question and answer

Plant identification
August 07, 2008 - I have discovered a vine growing in my boysenberry patch, perhaps spread by birds, but I can't find it in any books. It has 5 smooth leaves with burgundy, pinkish racemes, much like snap dragon flow...
view the full question and answer

Mystery plants at Marble Falls
September 01, 2008 - On the upper end of Lake Marble Falls is a 2-3 foot tall green stemed plant just blooming small white daisy like flowers. There are no leaves on the plant just stems and now flowers. Any idea where ...
view the full question and answer

What is the correct genus name for Fringe flower in North Myrtle Beach, SC?
September 14, 2010 - Is it Laura Pedlum or lorapetalum? I saw this shrub last week, and finally found a picture of it. The search engine listed about three different names for it! So what is the correct name, and does i...
view the full question and answer

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