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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.

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Ask Mr. Smarty Plants is a free service provided by the staff and volunteers at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center.

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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!

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Tuesday - May 31, 2011

From: South Salem, NY
Region: Northeast
Topic: Plant Identification
Title: Identification of small plant
Answered by: Nan Hampton

QUESTION:

Hi, Mr. Smarty Plants, We are doing a biology project where we have to identify certain plants found in our area. We encountered a infinity symbol-shaped light green plant, about 4 cm high, and light green. There are two leaves on the top making a T shape. We were thinking maybe it was a small sapling of some kind. Any idea as to what it could be? Thank you! From the frustrated biology students

ANSWER:

Dear Frustrated Biology Students:  I am afraid you are going to continue to be frustrated because, from your description, I don't know what your plant could be.   You should realize (and probably do) that tiny plants without flowers are incredibly hard to identify—especially from a description alone.  Also, I'm not sure what about the plant is 'infinity shaped'.   Is it the arrangement of the two leaves?  Or, are they shaped like the letter T?  From its size and the fact that it only has two leaves, it sounds like a seedling of some sort.  There is a British database, Seedling Images, that shows hundreds of seedlings.  Most are European species, but there is a good representation of North American species as well.  Virginia Tech has a Weed Identification Guide that has seedling photographs for many of the species.  If you have a photo of the plant, you could consider submitting it for identification to one of the forums listed on our Plant Identification pages.

 

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