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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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Tuesday - July 29, 2008

From: St. Augustine, FL
Region: Southeast
Topic: Plant Identification
Title: Plant identification
Answered by: Nan Hampton


Greetings, Sir/Madam! What is the name of that weed that grows ubiquitously in St. Augustine, Fl (literally overnight when it rains) and has two skinny "arms", with little greenish beads on the arms. They grow quite high and have bulbs for roots. Also, are those purple flowers that some call weeds which are also native to St. Augustine called Society Garlic? Thank you so much!


The purple one could be Allium canadense (meadow garlic) or one of its varieties, such as Allium canadense var. mobilense (meadow garlic). These are native to Florida. It could also well be Tulbaghia violacea (society garlic), a native of South Africa often used as a landscape plant. I'm afraid you've stumped Mr. SP with the other one. If you will send us photos, however, we would be very happy to try to identify both your mystery plants. Please visit the Ask Mr. Smarty Plants page to read the instructions (under "Plant Identification") for submitting photos.


Allium canadense var. mobilense

Allium canadense var. mobilense

Allium canadense var. mobilense

Allium canadense

Allium canadense



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