Rent Shop 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 - December 15, 2008

From: Englishtown, NJ
Region: Northeast
Topic: Plant Identification
Title: Plant identification
Answered by: Nan Hampton

QUESTION:

I am looking for the name of the plant that looks like the spider plant but can survive the cold weather of the northeast. It looks just like the indoor spider plant but it does not produce offshoots. I have seen them at Dunkin Donuts where the maintenance people actually cut and shaped them. Thank you.

ANSWER:

The spider plant (Chlorphytum comosum) is a native of South Africa and certainly won't survive outdoors in New Jersey winters.  The only plant that I can come up with that looks a bit like the spider plant and is native to New Jersey is Yucca filamentosa (Adam's needle).  Here is more information from Ohio State University, North Carolina State University and Missouri Botanical Garden.

if this isn't the plant you saw at the Dunkin' Donuts and you have, or can get, a photo, please send it to us and we will do our best to identify it.  Visit the Ask Mr. Smarty Plants' Plant Identification page to read instructions for submitting photos.


Yucca filamentosa

 

 

 

More Plant Identification Questions

Smarty Plants on Jewel of the Nile
June 04, 2005 - My husband and I just returned from a short trip to San Francisco. While on a bus tour that took us to the Twin Peaks area, we saw some beautiful purple flowers growing on the hillside. Our tour guid...
view the full question and answer

Identification of a plant similar to wild lettuc
March 24, 2008 - I have a plant that was growing by my swimming pool last summer. Its some sort of wild lettuce, but i have been unable to identify it with the resources i have.
view the full question and answer

Plant identification
July 22, 2010 - Dear Mr. Smarty Plants, (love the name), I have found a plant in my yard. Underground it looks like a green onion, above ground it has a broad leaf, a thin 8-12 inch stalk and the top 2" of the stalk...
view the full question and answer

Plant identification
October 10, 2009 - Please try to identify a shrub growing beside a country road in Van Zandt Co this month. It had tiny, slender cone shaped fruit or "flowers" along the branches. The leaves are dark green, about 1 i...
view the full question and answer

Plant identification
August 09, 2012 - I have a plant which has fern like leaves on the top and round broad leaves near the ground. What is it?
view the full question and answer

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