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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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Thursday - August 20, 2009

From: Temple, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Plant Identification
Title: Identification of landscape plants at malls in Waco and Temple
Answered by: Nan Hampton


Dear Mr. Smarty, I am trying to identify a plant used in landscaping for several shopping centers within the Waco-Temple areas. It looks to be large mounding grass, but flowers June-July with shafts of elegant lilly or orchid like flowers in either white or orange color. It seems heat resistant and hardy, which makes me wonder if it is native to Texas. Thanks for your help.


Mr. Smarty Plants thinks this sounds like the South African native Dietes bicolor (Yellow wild iris or Peacock flower).  Here is a link to more photos and information about Dietes bicolor. There are white and yellow versions of this flower, but no orange ones as far as we know.  Perhaps there are daylilies (Hemerocallis sp.) interspersed for the orange color.  There are a few Texas native plants that come to mind although they don't quite fit your description.  These are Hesperaloe parviflora (redflower false yucca), Nolina texana (Texas sacahuista) and Nolina microcarpa (sacahuista).  If none of these is the plant you have seen, please take several photos and send them to us.  We will do our best to identify it.  For instructions on submitting photos, please visit Mr. Smarty Plants' Plant Identification page.


Hesperaloe parviflora

Nolina texana

Nolina microcarpa









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