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

Thursday - April 16, 2009

From: Hockley, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Plant Identification
Title: Plant identification
Answered by: Nan Hampton

QUESTION:

There is a plant growing on the side of the road near my home. The stalk of it is thistle like with many prickles. The flower on it is white and has 6 petals.

ANSWER:

Your description sounds like  Argemone albiflora ssp. texana (bluestem pricklypoppy) or possibly another prickly poppy, Argemone polyanthemos (crested pricklypoppy).  Both occur in Harris County—the foliage of A. polyanthemos (crested pricklypoppy) is greener than A. albiflora ssp. texana (bluestem prickly poppy). There is still another white pricklypoppy, Argemone aurantiaca (Texas pricklypoppy), but its natural distribution is well to the west of Harris County.

 


Argemone albiflora ssp. texana

Argemone albiflora ssp. texana

Argemone polyanthemos

Argemone aurantiaca

 

 

More Plant Identification Questions

Identification of a mint-like plant in California
July 21, 2013 - I found a plant growing near my apricot (in Fresno, California). It has a square stem which becomes more rounded toward the base. The leaves are smooth, opposite, and they have three to five leaflets ...
view the full question and answer

Identifying Rhus lanceolata in Texas
April 28, 2013 - Dear Mr. Smarty Plants, I think I've identified two small trees, 4 to 5 feet high at the back fence line and two in the front yard flower beds as prairie flameleaf sumac (or at least some kind of s...
view the full question and answer

Plant Identification in Montfort WI
June 15, 2010 - There is a small orange flower plant that grows wild along highways and in uncut yards in northwest Wisconsin--We are visiting in Siren, WI and have tried to dig some up and take home to SW WI. They d...
view the full question and answer

Identification of a plant saprophytic on oaks
October 04, 2012 - What is name of plant poking up through the leaves near base of oak tree that appears as a cluster of yellow-brown stalks that resemble small pinecones or pineapples or cobs of corn?
view the full question and answer

Plant identification in Mojave Desert
November 20, 2013 - I need help in identifying a shrub like plant that I found in SW Utah near Beaver Dam, UT (Which is near the Arizona/Nevada border). It is approximately 12 inches in height with profuse stems origina...
view the full question and answer

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