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
Not Yet Rated

Saturday - June 14, 2008

From: Elizabeth, CO
Region: Rocky Mountain
Topic: General Botany
Title: Least common flower color
Answered by: Barbara Medford and Joe Marcus

QUESTION:

What is the least common flower color in the world?

ANSWER:

Silver, maybe? Black? Turquoise? It depends on how narrowly you want to define the term. See this previous answer on most common color in which one of our Mr. Smarty Plants team speculates on how you would narrow down which color is which, and points out that there is no answer to that question because no one has surveyed the whole world and catalogued all the colors by frequency of appearance. It's on our to-do list, but we may not get to it this year.

We also wish to submit that there is a color that is no color, because these plants do not bloom. They do not need colored flowers to attract pollinators because they do not reproduce that way. Some examples of that type of plant are:

Ferns - reproducing by spores, small brown spots on the underside of the fern leaf. From backyardnature.net Backyard Ferns. From our database Adiantum capillus-veneris (common maidenhair)

Horsetail - From our own Native Plant Database, Equisetum hyemale (scouringrush horsetail)

Conifers - Backyardnature.net Conifers. Also from our database: Taxodium distichum (bald cypress)

So, have we wandered about enough to divert you from the fact that we can't answer your question? It's hard for us to admit this, but it does happen. Perhaps you would like to take on the cataloguing of all the earth's flower colors, and then we'll know the answer.


Equisetum hyemale

Taxodium distichum

Adiantum capillus-veneris

 


 

More General Botany Questions

North American plant that inhibits mold and mildew growth
October 06, 2008 - Hi! There, I just wanted to know is there a north American plant that inhibits or eradicates mold and mildew growth, in the home. Also do they make a CFL (the new energy efficient spiral) type light b...
view the full question and answer

Checklist of native plants
March 03, 2008 - I have recently submitted my membership. I would like to know if there is a complete list of wildflowers, that one may check off as they are seen, such as the birders check off their lifetime list.
view the full question and answer

Use of native non-vascular plants from Pisgah Forest NC
February 11, 2011 - Dear Mr. Smarty Plants, Some of the smartest native plants around to use as horticultural choices don't require any chemical fertilizers, pesticides or herbicides; tolerate extreme weather including ...
view the full question and answer

Is Esperanza a deciduous or an evergreen plant?
March 08, 2009 - I've read that Esperanza/Tecoma Stans is an evergreen. I planted one last year that seemed very healthy, but it dropped its leaves in late fall and looks (at least) dormant now. Will it come back o...
view the full question and answer

Purple leatherflower with white bloom
July 17, 2014 - A couple of years ago at the wildflower center native plant sale I bought a purple leatherflower according to the tag. This is the first year it has bloomed and the blooms are pure white. The shape ma...
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.
E-NEWSLETTER | BECOME A MEMBER | DONATE NOW | MEDIA | SITEMAP | STAFF
© 2015 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center