En Español

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

Please forgive us, but Mr. Smarty Plants has been overwhelmed by a flood of mail and must take a break for awhile to catch up. We hope to be accepting new questions again soon. Thank you!

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

 
rate this answer
1 rating

Tuesday - May 12, 2009

From: Willow City, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Plant Identification
Title: Who was Salvia clevelandii named for?
Answered by: Joe Marcus

QUESTION:

Where does the term "clevelandii (as in the Salvia I recently saw for the first time) originate?

ANSWER:

Theoretically, the specific epithet, clevelandii, could refer to a person (President Grover Cleveland, for example), a place (Cleveland, Ohio is one possibility), a thing (if there is a thing called a cleveland) or it could reference absolutely nothing that the species' author cared to reveal.  There are few rules for the creation of specific epithets beyond that they be in Latinized form and that they are in gender agreement with the associated genus name.

In the case of Salvia clevelandii, Cleveland sage, the author of the species chose to honor Daniel Cleveland, a nineteenth century lawyer, amateur botanist, plant collector and co-founder of the San Diego Society of Natural History.  Cleveland was especially noted as an expert on Southern California ferns.  He founded the San Diego Natural History Museum herbarium and also sent many Southwestern herbarium specimens to the Harvard University herbarium.

In addition to Salvia clevelandii, there are a number of other species named in his honor including: Cheilanthes clevelandii, Chorizanthe clevelandii, Cryptantha clevelandii, Dodecatheon clevelandii, Horkelia clevelandii, Malacothrix clevelandii, Mimulus clevelandii, Muilla clevelandii, Nicotiana clevelandii and Penstemon clevelandii.  Moreover, the monotypic Mexican genus, Clevelandia (now included in Castilleja) was also named in Mr. Cleveland's honor.  Clearly, he was a well-respected plantsman in his time.

 

More Plant Identification Questions

Plant identification
September 22, 2010 - I live in Austin. Texas. My garden has been lying fallow for several seasons and earlier this week I started clearing the weeds and wild flowers in hopes of getting our vegetable garden started again...
view the full question and answer

Plant called beargrass from Granbury, TX
September 24, 2011 - I am not a native Texan. We have a clump of what my husband (from Big Spring) calls "Bear Grass." It is over to the side of our yard and we have always enjoyed it (moved here in 1982). It blooms ...
view the full question and answer

Identification of blue flower
April 10, 2012 - I have two similar (but obviously different) wild flowers growing on my property. I have pictures of each. What email address can I use to send them to you to identify? I thought one was blue-...
view the full question and answer

Ivy with holes in its leaves
May 31, 2011 - Mr. Smarty Pants, Please help me, I was given an ivy (origin unknown). It is peculiar. It has holes in the leaves, not from bugs or from bacteria, etc. It is natural, the holes develop in some type...
view the full question and answer

Identity of shrub with brownish flowers called cinnamon bush
April 25, 2012 - When I lived in Vernon, CT, my neighbor had a small shrub/tree approximately 5 ft tall with small ovate slightly serrated leaves. In spring it produced reddish brown flowers that were of a hardened p...
view the full question and answer

Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.
E-NEWSLETTER | BECOME A MEMBER | DONATE NOW | MEDIA | JOBS | SITEMAP | STAFF INTRANET
© 2016 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center