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
Not Yet Rated

Monday - July 11, 2005

From: Indianapolis, IN
Region: Midwest
Topic: Plant Identification
Title: Smarty Plants on Smoke Tree
Answered by: Joe Marcus and Nan Hampton

QUESTION:

I live in Indianapolis Indiana and there is this wonderful tree on my street which has the most unusual flowers that I've ever seen. They look like pink and white fiber optics. Spencer gift stores used to sell these fiber optic lights that look like this tree's flowers. Pink delicate colored hair-like balls that seem to float all over the tree every spring. Does anyone have a clue what the name of this tree is, or where I might be able to find some close-up photo's of its flowers? I can't figure out any better way to describe these blossoms they are unlike any tree blossom I have ever seen. I was thinking that maybe they were the "Smoke Tree" or "Smoke Bush", but I looked at several photos of those (Google search "Smoke Tree") and they didn't really look right, but then again there were no close up shots of the blooms themselves. If you have any ideas please email me. Have a terrific day and God Bless.

ANSWER:

Your "fiber optic" tree sounds like Albizia julibrissin, Silktree or Mimosa Tree. Be sure to select "Search Images" from the menu at the top of that page to see more pictures. You can also see more pictures on the Duke University web page.
 

More Plant Identification Questions

Purple wildflowers near Lake Tahoe
November 30, 2009 - I have been tasked with a challenge to find the plant that is "dark purple wild flowers at Lake Tahoe and are a magnificent thing to see in the fall. Interestingly, these wild mountain lake flowers w...
view the full question and answer

Thermopsis caroliniana not in database from Philadelphia
September 16, 2009 - Thermopsis caroliniana is not in your plant database. What is the reason for that? Thanks!
view the full question and answer

Cinnamon scented plant growing along Pennsylvania rivers
August 05, 2013 - I've walked along both the Youghiogheny and Monongahela Rivers around my hometown and I've noticed moments at which time I would smell the strong, sweet aroma of cinnamon. Given the riverside envir...
view the full question and answer

Identification of a tree in Florida with bell-shaped red flowers
November 23, 2012 - A friend in Florida has asked about identification of a tree with a flower none of us have ever seen. It starts with a green pod, then flowers into, what looks to me like a Chinese lantern, or bell. I...
view the full question and answer

Identity of rejuvenated plant
May 19, 2012 - I am having trouble identifying my plant which has lived at least two years now, often looking completely dead, actually hibernating for a few weeks then bursting back to life. Small sprouts that grow...
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