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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

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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Need help with plant identification, visit the plant identification page.

 
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Saturday - June 21, 2008

From: N LITTLE ROCK, AR
Region: Southeast
Topic: Plant Identification
Title: Identification of cattail look-alike, except red
Answered by: Nan Hampton

QUESTION:

I would like help identify the wildflowers growing beside the highways in my area so I can plant some at my house. We live in Sherwood Arkansas which is just north of Little Rock.The Highway where we see them is 67/167. They bloom in the spring and look sort of like cattails except they are a deep red. Thanks in advance for any help identify these flowers.

ANSWER:

Here are three likely suspects with red flowers that occur in Arkansas in the spring and look a bit like a red cattails:

Ipomopsis rubra (standing-cypress) blooms May, Jun, July

Penstemon murrayanus (scarlet beardtongue) blooms April, May, June

Lobelia cardinalis (cardinalflower) blooms May through October

If none of these is the plant you have seen but you have photo of it, you can send us the photo for identification. Visit the Ask Mr. Smarty Plants page and see instructions for submitting photos under "Plant Identification".


Ipomopsis rubra

Ipomopsis rubra

Penstemon murrayanus

Penstemon murrayanus

Lobelia cardinalis

Lobelia cardinalis

 

 

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