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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!

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Tuesday - June 19, 2007

From: Austin, TX
Region: Select Region
Topic: Managing Roadsides
Title: Identification of Monarda citriodora on roadsides
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

What is the name of the lavender wildflower so prevalent right now throughout the Texas hill country? It's an upright stalk that has lighter and darker lavender petals with rows of green leaves separating them.

ANSWER:

I'm betting this is Monarda citriodora sometimes called Lemon Beebalm, Horsemint, or Bergamot. I've noticed it, too, and have never seen such a beautiful display as we have this year, thanks probably to the rains in the Fall and Spring. This native Texas wildflower can be an annual, a biennial, or a perennial. It attracts butterflies, is a nectar plant for bees and hummingbirds and is deer resistant! And, it grows well on limestone shelves. What more could anyone in Central Texas ask? It is native to this area but has been successfully introduced to other parts of the country.

Monarda citriodora is a member of the mint family. The leaves have a lemony scent, and it blooms with lavender to pink flowers from May to July.

 

From the Image Gallery


Lemon beebalm
Monarda citriodora

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