Rent Shop Volunteer Join

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
Not Yet Rated

Saturday - May 23, 2009

From: Paxton, IL
Region: Midwest
Topic: Plant Identification
Title: Plant ID in Champaign IL
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

I am in search of the name of a flower. It is tall, believe on a single stem, if you ever have been in Champaign, Il it grows along the interstate near the overpasses, very pretty purple flowers. I know from this brief info it will be near impossible to identify but it's all I have to go on. It is single stem, leafy, with medium purple flowers in sort of bowl shape, possibly a family of the phlox.

ANSWER:

Nope, never been to Champaign IL, but we can tell you how to search for this plant. Go to our Native Plant Database, and to "Combination Search" on that page. Search on Illinois, herb (herbaceous flowering plant) under Habit, purple under Color and May, June and July under Bloom Time. Then click on the Combination Search box. When we did this we got 169 possibilities. You can follow each plant link to the webpage on that plant, there is usually a picture, and a description of the plant. If you find one that is a good possibility, go to our Image Gallery, enter the plant scientific or common name (from the Database) and, if we have them, you will get several pictures of the plant. By clicking on an individual picture, you will get an enlarged photograph that you can examine more closely. There is always the possibility that it is an introduced non-native, and therefore would not be in our database.

If that fails, go to our Plant ID page for instruction on submitting a photo, and we will try to identify it. 

 

More Plant Identification Questions

Plant identification--Mock Orange
June 08, 2009 - I "grew up" with what I was told was a "Mockorange Bush." I've been looking around to be able to try to identify what variety it was. To be specific, the one that I am familiar with had little...
view the full question and answer

Identification of plant with white spike blooms and red berries
July 06, 2014 - I just came back from a hike in Dallas and found large areas where a lanceolate- to acuminate- leafed herb was blooming spikes of white, 4 petal flowers that quickly turn to bright red berries, someti...
view the full question and answer

Plant identfication
October 21, 2009 - Hi...Can you please identfy the tall, evergreen shrub with purple plum-colored foliage that I have noticed in winter locally?...Hope so, need he color! THX
view the full question and answer

Identity of tall plant with blooms similar to squash in Ohio
September 05, 2012 - Trying to identify a mystery plant. Have found nothing similar on the internet. Can I send a picture and if so, how? The plant is over 5 feet tall with many branches and has blooms similar to squas...
view the full question and answer

Plant identification
September 24, 2008 - I found a flower about 5 inches tall and it is Pinkish White the head of it hangs down and looks like a rose that hasn't bloomed yet. It reminds me of an Orchid like Fairy . Its Mystic like! what is ...
view the full question and answer

Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.