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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 is a free service provided by the staff and volunteers at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center.

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Monday - April 14, 2008

From: Fort Worth, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Plant Identification, Wildflowers
Title: Identity of maroon flower taking over bluebonnets
Answered by: Nan Hampton


there is a maroon colored flowering weed at my ranch in Oakwood Texas. It is taking over the bluebonnets and indian paint brushes. Can you tell me what it is and how to get rid of it.


Since our only clues are "maroon-colored" and blooming right now in Texas, we can't give you any sort of positive identification. However, here are a few possibilities for Texas native flowering plants with reddish flowers that bloom in April. I've attached a few photos of the most likely ones, but you should scan through the photos of the 47 species that fit the description. If you don't find it among the 47 species, you can send us a photo and we will do our best to tell you what it is for sure. See Ask Mr. Smarty Plants in the lower right corner of the page for instructions on how to submit a photo for identification.

How do you get rid of it? If it's one of the ones pictured below, Mr. Smary Plants wonders why would you want to get rid of it. These are beautiful and the contrast of the color with your bluebonnets and paintbrushes should be striking. However, whatever they are and for whatever reason you want them gone, the only surefire way to get rid of them is to dig or pull them up by the roots. Any herbicide won't distinguish between the unwanted plants and your bluebonnets and paintbrushes.


From the Image Gallery

Tall poppymallow
Callirhoe leiocarpa

Palmleaf poppymallow
Callirhoe pedata

Trailing krameria
Krameria lanceolata

Annual phlox
Phlox drummondii

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