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

Monday - August 13, 2012

From: Austin, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Plant Identification
Title: Identity of very tall plants in Austin, TX
Answered by: Nan Hampton

QUESTION:

I have these huge tall plants. They don't seem to want to bloom and they are shading out my other natives. They get very tall. 10 feet or so. What is it?

ANSWER:

Well, a little more about the plants would be a great help in identifying them; for instance, information about leaf shape, leaf arrangement on the stem, plant shape, whether the plants are growing in a flower bed, in a field, etc.  However, knowing what happens to be growing around Austin right now and can grow quickly into a tall plant in one season, I'm placing my bet on:

 Ambrosia trifida var. texana (Giant ragweed)

Just in case that's not your plant, another possibility would be:  Baccharis neglecta (False willow)

If neither of these is the plant that you are seeing, take photos and then visit our Plant Identification page to find links to plant identification forums that accept photos of plants for identification.

 

 

From the Image Gallery


Texan great ragweed
Ambrosia trifida var. texana

Texan great ragweed
Ambrosia trifida var. texana

Texan great ragweed
Ambrosia trifida var. texana

Texan great ragweed
Ambrosia trifida var. texana

False willow
Baccharis neglecta

False willow
Baccharis neglecta

More Plant Identification Questions

Plant identification
October 06, 2009 - We have a large bush type plant, about 4 feet tall, fragant voilet flowers, large dark green leaves and spiney seed pods (about the size of golf balls) that have many seeds inside. They started growi...
view the full question and answer

Differentiation between Amorpha roemeriana and A. fruticosa
April 25, 2006 - How do I differentiate Amorpha roemeriana and A. fruticosa? Thank you.
view the full question and answer

How to have Mimosa and Yucca identified.
July 30, 2008 - Hello, I have recently come across what I believe to be Mimosa microphylla in a very southwest corner of Mississippi. The only thing different about this patch is its brilliant white blooms! I can no...
view the full question and answer

Plant identification of thorny shrub in Tennessee
October 03, 2013 - I have a mid to dark green thorny type bush growing on my land in Cosby, Tennessee. I am originaly from NJ and I have never seen it before. The stalk is varigated and the thorns are plentiful and very...
view the full question and answer

Plant Identification
July 06, 2008 - I am trying to identify a small tree or large plant here in Indiana. I have seen it from 6 ft to as tall as 15 to 20. It is a green leaf with pink cone shaped growth at the ends of a branch. The co...
view the full question and answer

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