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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

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!

Need help with plant identification, visit the plant identification page.

 
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Tuesday - July 03, 2012

From: Billerica, MA
Region: Northeast
Topic: Plant Identification
Title: Idendification of plants with white cotton ball flowers
Answered by: Nan Hampton

QUESTION:

A few months ago I found a small plant with a white cotton ball type flower on it. It had red spots. It was on the bank of the Nashua river. I had never seen this before, and I am having a hard time figuring it out! I do have a picture. Thanks for your help!!!!

ANSWER:

Antennaria plantaginifolia (Plantain-leaf pussytoes) sort of fits your description.  You can see more photos and information from Connecticut Wildflowers.  Another possibility (without any noticeable red spots) that grows in damp places such as the bank of rivers is Eriocaulon aquaticum (Common pipewort).   If neither of these is the plant you saw, you can visit our Plant Identification page to find links to several plant identification forums that accept photos for identification.  I'm sorry, but because of the volume of requests, we no longer accept photos for identification.

 

From the Image Gallery


Woman's tobacco
Antennaria plantaginifolia

Seven-angle pipewort
Eriocaulon aquaticum

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