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
1 rating

Thursday - November 04, 2010

From: Hinsdale, IL
Region: Midwest
Topic: Plant Identification
Title: Plant identification
Answered by: Nan Hampton

QUESTION:

I am trying to figure out what this plant is..It has light feathery leaves like dill. It is an annual in the midwest. Height 5-6 feet tall. Stalk is about 3 inches wide with branches that are 2 feet long. It has turned bright red this autumn and the seeds are tiny and brown. Could it be anise? Do you have any suggestions?

ANSWER:

It is rarely possible to identify a plant from a description alone; however, one native plant does come to mind.  This is Eupatorium capillifolium (Dog fennel).  The stalks can turn reddish in the fall.  Here are links to photos from the School of Biological Sciences, University of Texas, Virginia Tech Weed ID Guide, Alabama Plants, University of Florida Center for Aquatic and Invasive Plants and the USDA Plants Database.  The USDA Plants Database doesn't show it occurring in Illinois but it is recorded in Missouri and Kentucky.  If this isn't your plant, you might consider taking photos and submitting them to one or more of the Plant Identification forums listed on our Plant Identification page.

 

More Plant Identification Questions

Identification of a vine with purple flowers
July 06, 2011 - I'm trying to identify a vine-like plant growing in my yard to determine if it is a weed or should be kept around. It has small purple flowers with a small yellow center, looking like a mini honeysuc...
view the full question and answer

Identity of yellow-flowered plant with stickers
November 06, 2012 - I have yellow flowered plant taking over my lawn. I used weed killers last year and it has spread this year and still spreading. It has small burs (not as hard as a regular sticker bur but will stic...
view the full question and answer

Identification of plant in wildflower show
May 29, 2011 - Was in Julian California yesterday for a wild flower display. Had a bad stomach ache as I was walking around looking at the flowers. Saw this one. About 6 inches tall. Instead of leaves, it had wh...
view the full question and answer

Plant in Las Vegas with fern-like foliage and yellow/orange/red flowers
August 21, 2011 - We were in North Las Vegas and saw a beautiful plant, I would love to find it. It had a fern like foliage at the bottom with long thin stems and a flower clump at the top with yellow/orange/red flower...
view the full question and answer

Identification of colicroot and yellow colic-root
March 23, 2005 - There is a green flowering bush with yellow blooms off Taylor road in Dale, Texas (Caldwell County). What type of wildflower or weed is this? Could it possibly be Yellow Colic Root?
view the full question and answer

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