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

Thursday - February 14, 2013

From: Conway, AR
Region: Select Region
Topic: Plant Identification
Title: Plant identification
Answered by: Nan Hampton

QUESTION:

Please help identify a flower I saw growing in the woods in central Arkansas last week.It had a light yellow flower growing out of a very flat basal rosette made up of grey-green spade-shaped leaves. The flower was a daisy or buttercup type, up-facing. Sorry I didn't have a camera with me at the time. I have looked for it in the Peterson guide and Carl Hunter's Wildflowers of Arkansas, but I haven't been able to find it.

ANSWER:

What I suspect you saw was an early-blooming plant—one that would normally bloom on a stalk but, because it got the signal to bloom early and the stalk hadn't grown yet, bloomed near the basal leaves.  Our February temperatures—indeed, the past year's temperatures in Texas, at least, have been higher than average. Higher than average temperatures could trigger early blooming.

If you go to our Native Plant Database and do a COMBINATION SEARCH choosing "Arkansas" from Select State of Province, "Herb" from Habit (general appearance), "Feb", "Mar" and "Apr" from Bloom Time and "Yellow" from Bloom Color, you can see more that 80 possibilities for Arkansas natives.  You should check out these possibilities yourself.  The most likely ones that I could see based on your description were:

Krigia virginica (Virginia dwarfdandelion)  Here are photos showing the basal leaves from Illinois Wildflowers and Missouri Plants.

Lindheimera texana (Texas yellowstar)  Here are more photos from the School of Biological Sciences at the University of Texas.

Packera obovata (Golden groundsel)  Here are more photos from the School of Biological Sciences at the University of Texas.

Waldsteinia fragarioides (Appalachian barren strawberry)  Here are more photos and information from Missouri Botanical Garden.

 

From the Image Gallery


Virginia dwarfdandelion
Krigia virginica

Texas yellowstar
Lindheimera texana

Texas yellowstar
Lindheimera texana

Golden groundsel
Packera obovata

Golden groundsel
Packera obovata

Appalachian barren strawberry
Waldsteinia fragarioides

More Plant Identification Questions

Nomenclatural puzzles
March 25, 2008 - Hi Mr. Smarty Plants. I have been looking all day for this information. I am look for a plant that is in the genus Cucumis but not in the family Cucurbitacea. A plant that is in the family Cucurbit...
view the full question and answer

What is the name of a green plantin Ohio with white flowers that kind of look like broccoli?
March 13, 2009 - Last summer I saw a plant that had very full, very light green almost white flowers that kind of looked like broccoli. Do you know the name of this plant?
view the full question and answer

Plant ID–maybe a lupine?
February 02, 2015 - We have a strange plant growing in our flowerbed that we did not knowingly plant. It sprang up last summer and has continued to grow throughout the winter in spite of several freezes. We live just eas...
view the full question and answer

Bleeding Heart-Like Plant Identification in PA
May 09, 2015 - Hi Mr. Smarty Plants. We have a plant that looks almost like the bleeding heart, as in the way the bell shaped (not heart) white flowers hang downward on the stem. However, the leaves are broader and...
view the full question and answer

Plant ID in Springfield OR
July 08, 2009 - I recently discovered a wildflower closely resembling the Oregon Lady Slipper, apparently a wild orchid, but with many blooms on a single long stem and with no apparent leaves. I'd like more informat...
view the full question and answer

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