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

Thursday - July 30, 2009

From: Nashville , TN
Region: Southeast
Topic: Ferns
Title: Identity of a fern-like plant in Nashville TN.
Answered by: Jimmy Mills

QUESTION:

There is a fern like plant that is growing in partial sun in my front yard. It closes and opens with the sun. Its leaves are lacy and long; so far no flowers. I have pictures but not for this format. This is just one of many plants I'm trying to put names to in my new yard!

ANSWER:

Mr. Smarty Plants has found that it is difficult if not impossible to identify plants from a written description. However, I can tell you that if your plant is a fern, it will not have flowers. This article from the Brooklyn Botanic Garden will tell you a lot about ferns.

My suggestion is to have one of your friends who has a digital camera take a picture of the plant and send it to us.

Be sure to follow the directions on the Plant Identification page for taking and sending the images.  A picture is worth a thousand words.

 

More Ferns Questions

Container plants for cool weather in Cypress TX
October 02, 2011 - I am a novice gardener and I am looking for some ideas on potted plants for the fall/winter. They would be covered by a roof, but still susceptible to the elements. What can be planted now that will...
view the full question and answer

Native plants with little sun and northern exposure for New York
April 26, 2006 - I live in a co-op and want to fix up the backyard. The backyard area has a west area to plant with a northern exposure and little sun and I am looking to plant something to cover the area. I would lik...
view the full question and answer

Ground cover to control hillside erosion in Illinois
May 04, 2014 - I have seen some other questions regarding native plants for erosion control, but I am looking specifically for plants that will do well on a hill in partial to full shade. I am told the soil in our a...
view the full question and answer

Are philodendrons, variegated ginger, sword ferns and palms toxic to horses?
February 24, 2009 - Are philodendrons, variegated ginger, sword ferns and palms toxic to horses?
view the full question and answer

Environmental factors that affect lifecycle stages of maidenhair fern.
November 07, 2014 - What are the environmental factors that can affect the lifecycle stages of a maidenhair fern, particularly A. trichorleopis? Thank you
view the full question and answer

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