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

Tuesday - March 29, 2011

From: Somerset, MA
Region: Northeast
Topic: Plant Identification
Title: Identity of recently purchased plant from Somerset MA
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

I just bought a plant at Home Depot but it came with no tag. It has fairly large greyish green paddle shaped leaves, the leave stalks are pretty thick. Can you tell me what kind of plant do I have? I think it a Bird of paradise but not sure. if you can help it would be great! Thanks

ANSWER:

We are sorry, but there is little chance we can identify your plant. Home Depot sells mostly non-native plants, and tropicals are particularly showy. However, the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center is dedicated to the growth, propagation and protection of plants native not only to North America but to the area in which those plants are being grown. We would strongly recommend that you refuse to buy a plant that is not labelled with its identity. A common name is okay, because you can usually find that on the Internet, but a scientific name is much better, as there will be no confusion on which plant that is, while there are many different common names for the same plant.

 

More Plant Identification Questions

Florida hanging vine with occasional red tongue-like leaves
December 01, 2011 - I live in south Florida and I used to grow a hanging vine that had green slender leaves and an occasional red leaf that looked like a tongue that protruded horizontally from the plant. do you know wha...
view the full question and answer

Identification of growth on possible oak tree
March 24, 2008 - We have photographed a very unusual bloom or growth on a tree we suspect may be an oak, and would like to submit photos of the bloom, bark, and (leafless) tree to someone for identification. My wild ...
view the full question and answer

Difference between Styrax platanifolius and Styrax patanifolius ssp. texanus
November 18, 2011 - What is the difference between a Styrax platanifolius and a Styrax platanifolius texanus?
view the full question and answer

Observation of Kalmia angustifolia in George Washington National Forest in Virginia
March 19, 2015 - On Feb. 7th, 2015 I observed a variety Kalmia on the crest of a ridge, recently burned off, in the George Washington National Forest. I think it may be sheep laurel (Kalmia angustiflora), which coloni...
view the full question and answer

Identification of an Australian tree.
November 29, 2007 - i have a tree i cant seem to find any info on, the tree has large almost heart shaped leaves with pinkish veins running through them, its not shiney anywhere, sort of a mat finish,the edges of the lea...
view the full question and answer

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