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?

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
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
3 ratings

Sunday - April 27, 2008

From: Ennis, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Plant Identification
Title: Good website for identifying wildflowers
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

What is a good website to identify wildflowers? I have done Google searches and none of the websites seem to help. Where should I go?

ANSWER:

With all due modesty, you're on a good website for identifying wildflowers now. Want to identify something you see blooming in the fields right now? Begin by going to our Native Plant Database. Go down to Combination Search, indicate Texas as the state, herb (flowering plant) as habit, annual (try that first, many wildflowers are annuals) as duration, full sun (if that's where you saw the plant), and dry soil. Then go down a little farther on the page to "Bloom Time." If the flower you saw was pink, check pink and if it's blooming now, click on April. We were looking for Oenothera speciosa (pinkladies), which has really bloomed profusely recently. Unfortunately, we didn't get it the first go-round, so we tried perennial and moist soil, other selections the same, which got a list of 12 possibilities, with pictures. We clicked on the Latin name and got a description and larger picture of the flower. If you don't know if the plant is perennial or annual, if the soil is dry or moist, you can leave those points unchecked. Looking for the same flower, we simply checked herb, left durations at "all", and the color and month we saw it in bloom. That gave us a list of 103 plants to look at, but Oenothera speciosa (pinkladies) was there. This might sound a little unwieldy at first, but after you learn to use it, you can usually identify wildflowers you have seen in the fields pretty quickly.

Now, having tooted our own horn, let us give you another couple websites that can also help. The first one, from Lone Star Internet, has pictures of Texas wildflowers. They are listed in columns under a flower of the color you are looking for; Oenothera speciosa (pinkladies) was under a red flower, but they didn't have a pink column.The next site you might like to look at is Texas Wildflowers, in which you click on the month in which the flowers started blooming to get pictures. It has several other links in it you can try. And, if you're tired of lugging your computer out into the fields, let us recommend a book, Wildflowers of Texas by Geyata Ajilvsgi, the 2003 Revised Edition. This is sorted by color, with the colors white, yellow, red (what do they have against pink?) and blue visible on the upper edges of the book. Click on the title in the Bibliography section at the bottom of this page, and you will get more information. You can carry this in your car and use it for quick field identification, and then go home and search, either in the Native Plant Database or on Google, for more information and pictures of the plant.

WILDFLOWERS BLOOMING IN TEXAS IN APRIL

 


Castilleja indivisa

Calylophus berlandieri

Conoclinium greggii

Callirhoe involucrata

 

 

More Plant Identification Questions

Plant Identification of plant similar to Oxytropis campestris
June 08, 2012 - This plant was found in Breckenridge Texas. Yellow flowers like Oxytropis campestris, yet it is not supposed to be in Texas. Is this possible? Soil is gravelly, sandy and yellow clay. sorry no pho...
view the full question and answer

Identification of plant with bell-shaped flowers
January 03, 2008 - Dear Mr. Smarty Plants, I am in need of a plant name to purchase. It is absolutely beautiful. The plant has light green leaves, the flowers that bloom look like bells (of course they hang upside down...
view the full question and answer

Origin of sticky, smelly substance on dog in Southern California
August 27, 2011 - I just took my dog out (mid August) in Aguanga, CA (high desert) and, after coming back in, noted that his feet and legs were covered in a very sticky substance that STINKS - there is some kind of pla...
view the full question and answer

Identity of shrub growing wild in Austin Texas area
September 23, 2013 - Hi! I need help identifying a bush growing wild in my area. I have pictures of leaves fruit and bark. I cant find a good place to post these in order to ID plant. I'm in Austin TX area. Thank...
view the full question and answer

Identification of tree with round purple leaves
May 14, 2014 - What is tne name of the purple leaf tree whose leaves are spherical? Maybe 1 to 2" in diameter? A neighbor who has moved now, had one but cut it down before i could find out or rescue it. It wasnt ...
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.

Bibliography

Wildflowers of Texas (2003) Ajilvsgi, Geyata.

Search More Titles in Bibliography

E-NEWSLETTER | BECOME A MEMBER | DONATE NOW | MEDIA | SITEMAP
© 2014 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center