En EspaŅol

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?


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
Can't find the answer in our existing FAQs, submit a question to Mr. Smarty Plants.
Need help with plant identification, visit the plant identification page.
rate this answer
5 ratings

Thursday - April 03, 2008

From: Bartlett, IL
Region: Midwest
Topic: Plant Identification
Title: Identification of wildflower in Illinois
Answered by: Barbara Medford


I have a similar question to the one asking about the blue/lilac wildflower in Illinois. Every year here in IL a blue, stragly, petal-ed flower/weed blooms - particularly along the edge of curbs along roads. I have a picture of it - and have been dying to figure out how to make it grow in my yard. I've already done the search you suggested and found no match in the 175 results that came up. Please help I've been searching the Internet for hours!


It's good that you have a picture. Hopefully, someone here will be able to identify your flower from that. There is always the possibility that it is either a non-native to North America that has naturalized, in which case it would not be in our Native Plant Database, or that we simply don't have a record of it. At the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center we are committed to the study and care of plants native to North America. Go to our Mr. Smarty Plants page and, under "Plant Identification" you will find instructions for sending us a picture.

More Plant Identification Questions

Control of Smilax bona-nox (saw greenbrier)
June 15, 2007 - We have some property near Round Mountain, Texas. Under and in the oak trees is a vine that has a heart-shaped, shiny leaf and nasty thorns. I'd like to know the name and how best to try to get rid...
view the full question and answer

Identity of tall plant with blooms similar to squash in Ohio
September 05, 2012 - Trying to identify a mystery plant. Have found nothing similar on the internet. Can I send a picture and if so, how? The plant is over 5 feet tall with many branches and has blooms similar to squas...
view the full question and answer

How to solve a search problem on the Native Plant Database!
July 01, 2014 - When I use the LBJ Wildflower Center's Plant Identification Guide, it ALWAYS comes up with no results. It also ALWAYS comes up with Family: Acanthaceae. Could this be why NO question EVERY produces A...
view the full question and answer

Identification of tree with red feathery leaves
March 08, 2012 - What is the name of a tree with dark red leaves, feathery, slim trunk; maybe in the pepper family? Jedi?
view the full question and answer

Identification of a cucumber-like vine with fruit
November 16, 2011 - We found tiny, grape-size white melon-like fruit on a vine, with tomato-like/cucumber-like seeds. The leaves on the vine were similar to grape or cucumber leaves, but not spiny. They were behind our...
view the full question and answer

Smarty Plants's Facebook profile Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.

Mr. Smarty Plants wants you to be his Facebook friend. Click the Facebook icon to add yourself to Mr. Smarty Plants list of friends.
© 2015 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center