Rent Shop 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

Saturday - June 16, 2012

From: Rochester, NY
Region: Northeast
Topic: Plant Identification
Title: Plant identification
Answered by: Nan Hampton

QUESTION:

Hello Mr. Smarty Plants: We conducted an Internet search to find a name for a plant we have that has 2 opposing leaves on stalks, and is starting to grow a purple flower in the middle, near the ground. Pics of ground cherries do not match, though one black and white picture seem similar, but no purple flower is mentioned. we are in Rochester, NY and really wondering what we have here! It is about a foot tall and is living in the shade near our hosta plants. It could be a weed or a tree, but nothing seems to match! We will try to attach a picture.

ANSWER:

You can do a COMBINATION SEARCH on our Native Plant Database, choosing "New York" from the Select State or Province option, "Herb" from Habit (general appearance) and "Blue", Purple" and "Violet" from Bloom Color.  This will give you a list of 274 plants.  Almost all of these have thumbnail photos that you can scroll through.   None of these that I could see match your description.   If you have photos, you can visit our Plant Identification page to find links to plant identification forums that accept photos of plants for identification.

 

More Plant Identification Questions

Plant identification
August 28, 2008 - Hello. There is a plant growing next to my 4 o'clocks that I didn't plant which is almost the same height as them, but has different leaves and it grows wider. It has these huge light green upside d...
view the full question and answer

Identification of orange flowering tree in West Virginia
May 21, 2008 - I was wondering if you might have any suggestions as to what small tree-like plant I saw over the last two weeks (mid May) in West Virginia, in the woods, in the mountains. With honeysuckle-like leav...
view the full question and answer

Plant Identification
October 13, 2008 - We have 105 acres in Mid Michigan. Part of this land is marshland. There is a plant-flower that I have never seen before and no one knows what it is. It is on a long stem with long skinny leaves (2...
view the full question and answer

Identification of plant responsible for thorns in dogs' fur
October 02, 2009 - Do you know of a plant or bush that has very small, very thin triangle shaped thorn? My dogs have been coming in with these in their fur and I want to get rid of the plant/bush they are coming from.
view the full question and answer

Identity of a plant with yellow flowers in Michigan.
July 14, 2009 - Would you know what this perennial is? The plant has a reddish colored stem, the leaves are long and narrow, approx 31/2 inches long, and 1/2 to 3/4 inch across. The buds are long approx 2 inches, a...
view the full question and answer

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