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
Not Yet Rated

Saturday - April 25, 2009

From: Buffalo, NY
Region: Northeast
Topic: Plant Identification
Title: Plant Identification
Answered by: Nan Hampton

QUESTION:

What is: square stalk perennial with bright yellow flowers at the top (mainly)? Starts growing first thing in spring, invades surrounding areas, puts out long serrated leaves along the 7-8 ft stalks. Blooms in August and lasts through first frosts. Flowers are round w/ 2-inch petals around a tough green seed center.

ANSWER:

Mr. Smarty Plants gives up.  What is it?  Just kidding!  The square stalk suggests a member of the Family Lamiaceae (Mint Family).  If you select Lamiaceae (Mint Family) in our Native Plant Database and then NARROW THE SEARCH by selecting 'New York' from the Select State or Province and 'Yellow' from Bloom Characteristics, Color, you will find only three species, none of which matches your description:  Agastache nepetoides (yellow giant hyssop), Collinsonia canadensis (richweed) and Monarda punctata (spotted beebalm). Either Mr. Smarty Plants doesn't understand the description or your flower is not a species native to North America.  If you have photos of this flower and will send them to us, we will be very happy to try to identify it.  Please read the instructions for submitting photos on Mr. Smarty Plants' Plant Identification page.

 

 

More Plant Identification Questions

Identification of flower in book
August 12, 2015 - Hi, I make paper flowers and I came across this flower in my book under the name camellia. But I am sure it is not. I tried finding out similar flowers but i am lost as I don't know if such a flower ...
view the full question and answer

Tree with light-colored bark, thorns and long white clumps of flowers
August 18, 2015 - I bought a tree at the LBJWC plant sale a couple years ago but lost the name of the tree. I'm finally ready to plant it in the ground and would like to learn more about what its needs are. Can you ...
view the full question and answer

Plant in North Georgia Mountains with strong fragrance
January 20, 2010 - I need to ask a question about a plant in the North Georgia Mountains which are part of the Appalachian Mountains.I need help trying to figure out what plant in the North Georgia Mountains and the App...
view the full question and answer

Summer fragrance from Naples FL
June 07, 2011 - Ever since I was a little girl growing up in Naples, Florida, there has been something that blooms in the summer. I smell this every day into the evening and it isn't a flowery fragrance, it was a li...
view the full question and answer

Why do Turk's cap plants have such a variable growth habit?
December 10, 2015 - In visiting the Family Garden at the Lady Bird Wildflower Center yesterday (10-21-15,) I admired a large bunch of Turks Cap that had more blooms than I had ever seen on Turks Cap, and I've loved that...
view the full question and answer

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