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
1 rating

Sunday - May 16, 2010

From: Austin, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Plant Identification
Title: Sombrerito Mexicano
Answered by: Damon Waitt

QUESTION:

Ratibida columnifera, almost universally called Mexican hat in English, is native to Texas and also to parts of Mexico, which leads me to wonder what the vernacular name is in Mexican Spanish. Google tells me that "sombrerito Mexicano" (which looks suspiciously like it might be translated from English) is one common name, but there weren't so many hits that I am confident that it is _the_ normal common name in Mexico (if there is one.) Does Sr. or Sra. Smarty Pants have a more definitive answer?

ANSWER:

Unfortunately, our trusty source for Spanish common names, the Integrated Taxonomic Information System does not list any for Ratibida columnifera (upright prairie coneflower). Sr. Smarty Plants agrees that sombrerito Mexicano is a lackluster attempt to translate the most common English common name, Mexican hat, into Spanish. Unlike scientific names, there are no rules governing the application of common names so feel free to use sombrerito Mexicano.
 

More Plant Identification Questions

Picture of Castilleja purpurea
February 08, 2015 - Can you tell me what the seedling for Castilleja purpurea looks like? Or do you have a picture?
view the full question and answer

Identification of vining plant with red berries in California
January 28, 2016 - We found a vining plant next to and growing in our stream with gorgeous purple leaves in the fall after frost and a few sporadic clusters of smooth small red berries with little thorns on the vine. We...
view the full question and answer

Plant identification of plant with leaves like poison ivy
July 30, 2013 - I would like to identify a plant whose leaves look like poison ivy, but the stem is white and has thorns. It is not thready. It was prevalent in overgrown garden beds of a house in Litchfield, CT. ...
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

Plants indigenous to Sedona, AZ
July 07, 2010 - I live in Sedona AZ and I want to plant indigenous plants in my garden. Is there a list of AZ native plants shrubs and trees that are indigenous to Sedona? If there is no list that is specific f...
view the full question and answer

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