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

Friday - October 23, 2009

From: Middleboro, MA
Region: Northeast
Topic: Plant Identification
Title: Need to identify orange tube-like plants in Middleboro, MA
Answered by: Jimmy Mills

QUESTION:

Mr. Smarty Plants~ I live near some industrial companies, and lately I have been finding these orange plants, like tubes almost the top being brownish all over my backyard in the mulch. They have a white sack attached to the bottom, under the soil, they look like it may have seeds or something in it. From what I understand, there is a horrible smell emitted from the sack if broken. Could you please tell me if you have ever heard of anything like this, or what it might be? Is it poisonous? Thank you very much,

ANSWER:

 Well, you didn't mention anything green so they may not be plants. Mr. Smarty Plants is going to guess that you may have a fungus, perhaps a Puffball. Click here to see if what you have in your yard looks like Microstoma protracta.

What we really need is a picture, so if you would go to our Plant Identification page and follow the directions for sending us photos of this interesting sounding organism, we could perhaps be of more help.

 

 

 

 

More Plant Identification Questions

Instructions for sending photos for identifying plants
October 23, 2007 - I purchased a plant in Athens, GA at the trial garden at UGA. I have two pictures that I can email. It's growing really tall (over 6"). It has big, dark green leaves that are rough to the touch. It ...
view the full question and answer

Flowering vine with yellow flowers in Nevada
August 10, 2014 - A flowering vine started growing in our Henderson back yard about 2 months ago. It has variegated green leaves & yellow flowers. We decided not to pull it out & now it's spreading. I've looked on v...
view the full question and answer

Invasive spreading weed in Michigan that looks like a small pine tree
July 29, 2013 - I have an invasive spreading weed in my gardens. It has black root system, comes up looking like a small pine tree. The green breaks off when you try to pull it.
view the full question and answer

Plant identification
June 25, 2011 - I see a previous question from Ohio on this plant, so I will copy the description and try to submit photos. "A year later a weed-like plant started growing beside it. It has very thorny leaves, stem...
view the full question and answer

What is gelatinous plant in a Missouri lake
July 25, 2008 - Q what is gel like plant floating in lake looks like a bag filled with green living plant and is see thru and has red. when touched feels like piece of fat but seems to be living in water. Missouri
view the full question and answer

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