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

Monday - September 01, 2008

From: Spalding, NE
Region: Midwest
Topic: Plant Identification
Title: Bulbs named exotica
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

When I purchased some seed from a catalog I received some free bulbs called exotica which I planted.They have long green stems. I don't know what they are or what to do with them. Can I plant them outside or are they just house plants? Can you send a picture?

ANSWER:

Much to our surprise, we may actually have found that plant you are asking about. We were sure that the bulbs you were sent, named "Exotica", were just given a random trade name, with no connection to any scientific name. However, we found a plant that grows from bulbs named Hemigraphis "Exotica" on the Kemper Center for Home Gardening website. We can't guarantee this is your bulb, as it appears to be a vining plant. If we found the right one, it would be a house plant in Nebraska, as it needs Zones 10-11 to be grown outside. One of the suggested uses was as a hanging basket plant. The forum website Dave's Garden has some more information and comments on the plant by gardeners who have tried it. Another site from Dave's Garden, Purple Waffle Plant, has more pictures. It has a very distinctive and unusual leaf, so it should be easy to tell if you have the same plant. This plant is native to Asia. At the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center, we are dedicated to the promotion and protection of plants native to North America, so the plant does not appear in our Native Plant Database. However, most house plants are non-native tropicals because they are able to withstand the living conditions indoors. 

If this still doesn't seem to be the right plant, we suggest you go back to the company from which you received it. Look in their catalog, either online or in print, and see if such a plant is listed. Any time you purchase or receive a plant from a dealer, you should be given the full scientific name of it, so you can research it and find out its growing conditions. The packaging in which the bulbs arrived should have had this information, and also should have given you some sort of cultural instructions. 

 

More Plant Identification Questions

How does Styrax youngiae differ from other Texas Styrax species?
August 18, 2013 - How does the Styrax youngae differ from other Texas styrax? Where can I find a description of all the Texas styrax trees?
view the full question and answer

What's invading my bermuda grass?
June 11, 2013 - Our grass is being totally overrun by this weed.(I don't know what the name is identify it by the description. It is in Bermuda grass and the only way to describe the weed is to say it looks like big...
view the full question and answer

What is the weed of Cortez from Shreveport, LA
November 13, 2009 - I am trying to locate the weed of Cortez. I live in northern Louisiana. Can you please let me know if you have ever heard of this? I was told that is a very rare large red flower that blooms in the sp...
view the full question and answer

Identity of flowering yellow trees in Austin
March 21, 2012 - There are numerous flowering yellow trees in my Austin neighborhood. Are they mesquite or goldenball lead trees? They are quite fragrant, like a new bar of soap.
view the full question and answer

Identification of possible edible huckleberry in Central Texas
July 20, 2007 - I'm trying to identify a plant in my backyard, and in particular, I'm wondering if it's an edible huckleberry of some kind. Given all the rain Austin has had this summer, I wonder if it's not bey...
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
© 2014 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center