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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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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.

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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.

 
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Tuesday - August 25, 2009

From: Lebanon, CT
Region: Northeast
Topic: Plant Identification
Title: Plant Identification from Lebanon CT
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

What is that plant-- a wildflower --large thick stalk--flowers can be purple, pink, and very light pink. 3 branches off of stalk--flowers growing up each branch. Flowers smell similar to peonies.Leaves are growing up stalk--long leaves with serrated edges. At the bottom of each plant it had what looked like tentacles.???

ANSWER:

Although Mr. Smarty Plants is a far-flung group, none of us live in Connecticut. Your description was good, and it sounds a little bit like a member of the Monarda genus. There are six of them native to Connecticut, and they should be blooming about now. We will list them and you can follow the links to the individual webpages on each plant. We will also include some pictures from our Image Gallery. If we guessed wrong, please go to our instructions for submitting a photo, so we can make another attempt. 

Monarda clinopodia (white bergamot)

Monarda didyma (scarlet beebalm)

Monarda fistulosa (wild bergamot)

Monarda media (purple bergamot)

Monarda punctata (spotted beebalm)

Monarda punctata ssp. punctata var. villicaulis (spotted beebalm)


Monarda clinopodia

Monarda didyma

Monarda fistulosa

Monarda media

Monarda punctata

 

 

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