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
1 rating

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

QUESTION:

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.

ANSWER:

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

More Plant Identification Questions

Distinguish between Huisache and Goldenball Leadtree
March 23, 2008 - How do you distinguish between Huisache (Acacia farnesiana) and Goldenball Leadtree (Leucaena retusa)? Thanks!
view the full question and answer

Identity of plant at funeral that smells similar to honeysuckle
April 04, 2013 - What plant or flower smells similar to honeysuckle? I live in Ohio and I smelled some kind of flower or plant at a friends funeral last spring that smelled similar to honeysuckle. It was...
view the full question and answer

Difference between Styrax platanifolius and Styrax patanifolius ssp. texanus
November 18, 2011 - What is the difference between a Styrax platanifolius and a Styrax platanifolius texanus?
view the full question and answer

Plant ID from Bracketville TX
June 23, 2010 - A volunteer plant, 3 feet. 4 to 5 Dark green leaves from a central point, diamond shaped very serrated leaves with dark spots within the the leave. Stem is reddish. flowers are pinkish, small and clus...
view the full question and answer

Identification of a vine in El Paso, Texas
November 23, 2012 - I live in Del Rio Texas - Zone 8/9 and I have a vine which can't be identified. It looks like a morning glory white flower with crimson throat, but the leaf pattern is like a 5-7 fingered hand with d...
view the full question and answer

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