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

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

What is difference between Rhododendrons and Azaleas
April 23, 2008 - I am replanting my entire front yard as a native woodland garden (I am on Long Island, NY). I am having a hard time finding native rhododendrons and/or azaleas. I would prefer to remain true to the ...
view the full question and answer

Plant identification of a potted vine in California
October 04, 2011 - Hi, we have a tropical vine growing in a pot on our patio that my wife bought at the county fair. We've had it for a couple of years but I just noticed it now has a sort of pear like fruit on it. It ...
view the full question and answer

How to distinguish Malvaviscus arboreus from M. a. var. drummondii?
May 28, 2010 - I have a Turk's Cap plant. How do I tell if it is Malvaviscus arboreus or Malvaviscus arboreus var. drummondii?
view the full question and answer

Identification of tree with round purple leaves
May 14, 2014 - What is tne name of the purple leaf tree whose leaves are spherical? Maybe 1 to 2" in diameter? A neighbor who has moved now, had one but cut it down before i could find out or rescue it. It wasnt ...
view the full question and answer

Identification of strange dark green blobs
February 03, 2012 - In my back yard I have a type of plant with no roots only around in the summer and when it rains. It looks like a person took a piece lettuce and put way too much water into it and wadded it up. It ...
view the full question and answer

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