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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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Tuesday - July 03, 2007

From: Saginaw, MI
Region: Midwest
Topic: Plant Identification
Title: Identification of Cercis canadensis or Cornus florida
Answered by: Nan Hampton


I have what I think is a dogwood tree of some sort but I'm not sure. I wondered if I sent you a picture you could identify it. So far no one has. It's different because of its branches. They are red in color and hairy and almost fuzzy with pink flowers in the spring. I've been to quit a few green houses specializing in trees and come up blank. I think you'll find it interesting.


Your description of the flowers in the spring almost sounds like Cercis canadensis (eastern redbud) rather than one of the dogwoods, but Mr. Smarty Plants may have misunderstood about the fuzziness. Perhaps it doesn't seem fuzzy from all the pink flowers, but from general "hairiness" on the branches. There is a pink version of Cornus florida (flowering dogwood) that is the state tree of Virginia. However, since Mr. Smarty Plants isn't at all sure that either of these is your tree, your best bet is to send us photos so that we can try to identify it.

Please visit the Ask Mr. Smarty Plants page and read instructions for submitting photos under Plant Identification in the lower righthand corner of the page.



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