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
1 rating

Tuesday - April 22, 2008

From: Lometa, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Plant Identification
Title: Looking for rattlesnake flower
Answered by: Nan Hampton

QUESTION:

I taught school for many years. The students and I identified wildflowers. I had one I call Rattlesnake Flower. It was small and had a little blue flower. On the leaves were little seed cases that resembled rattles on a Rattlesnake. Now, I can't seem to fine it in the Texas Wildflower lists. Is there such a thing? I would love to see a picture.(It is possible that we were never able to identify it and simply gave it this name.

ANSWER:

There is one wildflower, Brazoria truncata, that has the common name of rattlesnake flower. However, it has pinkish flowers rather than blue flowers. You can see how the flower heads resemble the rattles on a rattlesnake, though. It does have a variation, Brazoria truncata var. pulcherrima (Centerville brazos-mint), that has blue flowers that might be what you called rattlesnake flower. These are both in the Family Lamiaceae (Mint Family).

There are a couple of other possibilities that have blue flowers and are called Dyschoriste linearis (snake herb) and Dyschoriste schiedeana var. decumbens (spreading snakeherb). These are in the Family Acanthaceae (Acanthus Family). However, your description sounds more like a flower in the Family Lamiaceae (Mint Family). I am going to list a few that sort of fit your description, even though they aren't called rattlesnake flower. They are:

Salvia engelmannii (Engelmann's sage)

Salvia texana (Texas sage)

Scutellaria drummondii (Drummond's skullcap)

Scutellaria integrifolia (helmet flower)

Scutellaria ovata (heartleaf skullcap)

Scutellaria ovata ssp. bracteata (heartleaf skullcap)

Scutellaria resinosa (sticky skullcap)

Scutellaria wrightii (Wright's skullcap)

Warnockia scutellarioides (prairie brazosmint)

Mr. Smarty Plants would be very interested to know if any of these flowers is the one you knew as Rattlesnake Flower.


Brazoria truncata

Brazoria truncata var. pulcherrima

Dyschoriste linearis

Dyschoriste schiedeana var. decumbens

Salvia engelmannii

Salvia texana

Scutellaria drummondii

Scutellaria integrifolia

Scutellaria integrifolia

Scutellaria ovata

Scutellaria ovata ssp. bracteata

Scutellaria resinosa

Scutellaria wrightii

Warnockia scutellarioides

 

 

More Plant Identification Questions

Summer fragrance from Naples FL
June 07, 2011 - Ever since I was a little girl growing up in Naples, Florida, there has been something that blooms in the summer. I smell this every day into the evening and it isn't a flowery fragrance, it was a li...
view the full question and answer

Plant identification
August 28, 2008 - Hello. There is a plant growing next to my 4 o'clocks that I didn't plant which is almost the same height as them, but has different leaves and it grows wider. It has these huge light green upside d...
view the full question and answer

How to have Mimosa and Yucca identified.
July 30, 2008 - Hello, I have recently come across what I believe to be Mimosa microphylla in a very southwest corner of Mississippi. The only thing different about this patch is its brilliant white blooms! I can no...
view the full question and answer

Plant ID from Boise ID
July 18, 2012 - I have a plant growing in my bed which resembles a dandelion.. the problem is that it is really tall. Would you be able to take a look at a picture to identify it?
view the full question and answer

Plant Identification in Tennessee
September 02, 2008 - I live in upper East Tennessee and all my life I have seen a flowering bush we call a Bubbie (or Bubby). It grows to an average approximate height of 6 feet and blooms in the early summer. The blooms ...
view the full question and answer

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