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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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Wednesday - August 13, 2008

From: Jasper, NY
Region: Northeast
Topic: Plant Identification
Title: Plant identification
Answered by: Nan Hampton


Every spring I see these very unique white flowers that grow along the edge of wooded areas. I live in upstate NY. These flowers have some reddish tint to the stem and leaves. The blooms are all single and have four squared off petals. Any idea what they are?


Here are a couple of possibilities that somewhat fit your description:

Oenothera albicaulis (whitest evening-primrose)

Proboscidea louisianica (ram's horn)

If one of these doesn't happen to be your plant, you can look through the possibilities yourself by doing a Combination Search on our Native Plant Database by choosing 'New York' from Select State or Province and choosing from Bloom Characteristics the appropriate months (e.g., March. April, May) and 'White'.

Of course, if you have photographs of the plant, you can send them to us and we will do our best to identify it. Please visit the Ask Mr. Smarty Plants page to read instructions (under "Plant Identification") for submitting photographs.

Oenothera albicaulis

Oenothera albicaulis

Proboscidea louisianica

Proboscidea louisianica



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