En Español

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

Friday - March 21, 2008

From: Avalon, CA
Region: California
Topic: Plant Identification
Title: Origin of name Bluedicks (Dichelostemma capitatum)
Answered by: Nan Hampton and Joe Marcus

QUESTION:

Why are Blue Dicks called that? I do a weekly wildflower update on the radio and I don't know the answer!

ANSWER:

Neither do we.  Blue Dicks (or Bluedicks) is a common name for Dichelostemma capitatum, a Southwestern US native in the family Liliaceae.  Dichelostemma refers to appendages on the stamens.  Depending on which literature you search, you may find this species listed under the synonymous names Brodiaea capitata, Brodiaea pulchells, Dichelostemma lacuna-vernalis, Dichelostemma pulchellum, Dichelostemma pulchellum var. capitatum, or Hookera pulchella.  Unfortunately, we could find no references which described the origin of the common, Blue Dicks.  Our conjecture, though, is that the name has its origin in the colorful language of early California miners or settlers.

 

More Plant Identification Questions

Plant ID at the Wildflower Center from Austin
June 18, 2012 - I was at the Wildflower Center today and loved the green plants with delicate white flowers that were in both clay pots in front of the auditorium. Please let me know the name of the plants.
view the full question and answer

Identity of sunflower
November 02, 2012 - I am not able to find how to post a picture to help you identify a plant on our campus. I believe the plant I am trying to identify is a rough sunflower. (Helianthus hirsutus) We have zexmenia as ...
view the full question and answer

Native plants for Ohio with common name beginning with U, X or Z
October 13, 2010 - Hi Mr. Smarty Plants, Are there any plants native to Ohio or the Northeast that have common names starting with the letter "U" "X" or "Z"? I'm sewing a cross-stitch sampler using the alphabet ...
view the full question and answer

Identity of a plant with opposite leaves in Washington
June 09, 2009 - My friend just bought a house and in the front yard are some bushes. I don't have a picture, but they are only 1-2 feet tall now. They have these unusual stems, throughout the entire bush. They are v...
view the full question and answer

Identity of cinnamon-scented bush from Pennsylvania
May 23, 2015 - I had a "bush" in PA that the woman who sold it to me called a cinnamon bush. It had long branches with large (approx 5" long and 3" wide) dark green leaves attached evenly along each side of the...
view the full question and answer

Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.
E-NEWSLETTER | BECOME A MEMBER | DONATE NOW | MEDIA | JOBS | SITEMAP | STAFF INTRANET
© 2016 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center