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 - 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.

 

More Plant Identification Questions

Wild onions and garlic in Genus Allium
June 25, 2006 - My husband and I found a strange bulb like plant that when broken open it smells and tastes like strong onion or garlic. The heads are at the top of the plant though not at the root base like most wil...
view the full question and answer

Plant identification
August 04, 2012 - We found a bush on our ranch in southern Gonzales County. It has oval shaped leaves about an inch long. There are no thorns on the branches. Fruit is round and smooth, the size of a small cherry to...
view the full question and answer

Plant identification
December 15, 2008 - I am looking for the name of the plant that looks like the spider plant but can survive the cold weather of the northeast. It looks just like the indoor spider plant but it does not produce offshoots....
view the full question and answer

Plant identification
July 21, 2012 - Can't i.d a small aroid, arisaema(?) sp.; 5" tall. tuber 12" tall by 1" beginning 8" beneath the soil level. flowers are black spathes with white spots. leaves are alternate. common plant but d...
view the full question and answer

Plant identification
August 24, 2011 - I have searched through all the plant identifications and can not find the one I am looking for. I live 6o miles South of Rochester, NY. In my woods, I found 2 plants, that are no where else in the ...
view the full question and answer

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