Contact Us Host an Event 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
Not Yet Rated

Monday - August 16, 2010

From: Carrboro, NC
Region: Southeast
Topic: Plant Identification
Title: Plant ID from North Carolina
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

Hi Mr. Smartyplants, I know that you can identify blue cohash in a neat way: 3 stems which easy branch to 3 more stems which each branch into 3 more and then 3 leaves attached to each. Well, do you know of any plants that do something just as simply in a 4-4-4-4 structure?

ANSWER:

Is this just an academic question, or do you have a plant you are trying to identify? Caulophyllum thalictroides (blue cohosh) is native to North  America as well as to North Carolina. If you have seen a plant with the 4-4-4-4 configuration, that would be very exciting. However, we know of no such plant, native or not. So, if you have seen one:

We love identifying native plants for folks! Do you have a picture of a plant found growing in the wild somewhere in North America and you would like to know its name? Send us an email following the instructions below. Please do not send pictures of house plants, office plants, garden plants, plants seen on your vacation to Costa Rica or other clearly non-native species. For identification of non-native plants you might consider visiting the UBC Botanical Gardens Forums website.

  1. Tell us where and when you found the plant and describe the site where it occurred.
  2. If possible, take several high-resolution images including details of leaves, stems, flowers, fruit, and the overall plant.
  3. Save images in JPEG format. Do not reduce the resolution of your images. High-resolution images are much easier for us to work with.

Send email with images attached to [email protected]. Please enter Plant ID Request on the subject line of your email.

From our Native Plant Database:


Caulophyllum thalictroides

Caulophyllum thalictroides

Caulophyllum thalictroides

Caulophyllum thalictroides

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

More Plant Identification Questions

Plant identification
June 18, 2011 - Hello- I would like to know what is this plant? It grows in part to full sun over a large area; gray fuzzy, quilted, pointed leaves. It is now about 6-10" tall plants but there are untrimmed 24-3...
view the full question and answer

Identity of purple-leafed plant in formal garden in Quebec City
August 23, 2013 - I saw a plant in a formal garden in Quebec City that was low growing with purple leaves and clusters of deep purple pods/seeds about the size of grapes.
view the full question and answer

Plant identification of orange-flowered plant with portulaca-like leaves
August 02, 2014 - As a last resort, I'm asking you. The plant identification page has not been helpful. Recently moved to Breckenridge, Texas and found several plants with 5 petaled orange flowers in the pasture. L...
view the full question and answer

Identification of plant from childhood
April 23, 2011 - I am trying to locate and identify a plant from my childhood (I'm 65). It was either a small tree or possibly a tree formed hedge like plant. It had small roundish leaves scattered on tiny limbs simi...
view the full question and answer

What is the plant called wingspan?
September 21, 2014 - I have a lot of environmental allergies and saw a positive result for "wingspan" yet I cannot find ANY information online about that particular plant. I was told it's "tumbleweed" by the medical ...
view the full question and answer

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