Rent Shop Volunteer Join

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

Botanical name for a kidney-shaped leaf
June 25, 2009 - Dear Mr Smarty Plants, I love the site.. but I was searching for id on this odd plant I have.. I have lived here a few years now, and have seen them before, never seemingly to have a flower..but ...
view the full question and answer

Yellow lupine-like flowers
May 10, 2009 - I recently visited Hodges Gardens near Many, LA. There was a large plant, 2' tall with spikey yellow lupine-like flowers. Plant had hairy leaves and a big spread--I'm sure it is a wild perennial. ...
view the full question and answer

Plant ID in Flower Mound TX
June 23, 2009 - I have a large native tree in the back yard, leaves resembles a live oak, but evergreen,& small white flowers in the spring, very tall vase shaped tree. It had no acorns or berries.
view the full question and answer

Identity of shrub with brownish flowers called cinnamon bush
April 25, 2012 - When I lived in Vernon, CT, my neighbor had a small shrub/tree approximately 5 ft tall with small ovate slightly serrated leaves. In spring it produced reddish brown flowers that were of a hardened p...
view the full question and answer

What is Carolina Jessamine in San Antonio?
July 24, 2009 - Okay, so if Gelsemium sempervirens is the one photographed by Joe Marcus in the "Explore Plants" section, then what is the actual name of the plant that is in every other yard in San Antonio, widely...
view the full question and answer

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