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
2 ratings

Wednesday - July 07, 2010

From: Bushkill, PA
Region: Mid-Atlantic
Topic: Plant Identification
Title: Plant identification
Answered by: Nan Hampton

QUESTION:

This should be an easy one. I would like to identify a plant that grows along river banks, usually up to the edge of the water and within 50' of water course, and is very common. It is up to 8' in height, hollow stem, 4" diameter oval to round leaf. alternate branching,dense growth,dies back each winter,has about 7 leaflets on each leaf,and is easily broken since it is structured like bamboo.

ANSWER:

Well, Mr. Smarty Plants is a little confused by your description.  The hollow stem structure that is like bamboo makes me think of a grass, but the leaf part of the description doesn't sound like a grass.  In fact, the leaf part is most confusing since you say the leaf is 4" in diameter and oval or round and then say that there are 7 leaflets per leaf.  The way to solve this, however, is pretty simple.  Please send us photos and we will do our very best to identify your plant.  Since this is a common plant you shouldn't have difficulty finding specimens to photograph. Visit Mr. Smarty Plants' Plant Identification page to read instructions for submitting photos. Be sure to take closeups of the leaves and the stem as well as a photo of a whole plant.

 

More Plant Identification Questions

Plant identification
June 27, 2011 - I have a plant my Dad had found years ago. Last of April a stem with bulb shaped bottom. May 6-stem opened and folded back exposing spotted inside of leaf. Bottom had yellow pollen? and green stem 2+ ...
view the full question and answer

Identification of trees in Georgetown and Austin area from Chilton TX
April 24, 2011 - I recently visited Georgetown,Texas and the Austin, Texas area. There were many multi-trunk trees in yards and in landscaping at the hotel we stayed at. What kind of trees are these multi-trunk tr...
view the full question and answer

Native North American bulbs
August 19, 2011 - I saw your list of 4 lilies native to the Northeastern United States, which was very helpful. What other bulbs are native to North America? Although I garden in Connecticut, I am interested in learn...
view the full question and answer

Identification of Spaeralcea sp. Globe Mallow
March 31, 2008 - Let's do it again....my computer had some "issues" and I lost your answer.... I purchased a mallow from the WFC about two years ago...I was told at the time they had not yet identified the plant...
view the full question and answer

Flower with spike of yellow flowers with hairy purple filaments
July 03, 2012 - Fuzzy purple stamens! I can't find this plant identified anywhere. Blooms abt 1" or a little more across. 5 yellow petals, 5 sepals, & 5 stamens with yellow anthers, & the filaments are covered wi...
view the full question and answer

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