En EspaŅol

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
Can't find the answer in our existing FAQs, submit a question to Mr. Smarty Plants.
Need help with plant identification, visit the plant identification page.
 
rate this answer
1 rating

Monday - November 30, 2009

From: Santa Clara, CA
Region: California
Topic: Plant Identification
Title: Purple wildflowers near Lake Tahoe
Answered by: Nan Hampton

QUESTION:

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 were imported from India, are of the same species---one kind---and its manifestation of color and type is simply indicative of its ecology, where it makes its 'living'." I have researched for days, but I am stuck: have you any idea?

ANSWER:

Well, that is a challenge!

First of all, our focus and expertise are with plants native to North America. You can do a COMBINATION SEARCH in our Native Plant Database and choose 'California' from Select State or Province and 'Purple' from Bloom Color and get a list of over 300 native plants in California that fit that description.  If you NARROW YOUR SEARCH by choosing 'September', 'October' and 'November' from Bloom Time, the number of plants in the list is fewer than 60. Of course, California is a very large state and not all those would grow  near Tahoe. Also, you include a quote from some source that says that this is an import from India.  If it really is a plant that isn't native to North America, it won't appear in our Native Plant Database.  Additionally, if it is a recent import and hasn't naturalized, we likely won't be able to help with its identification either.  However, it might help if we knew the origin and the date of the quote you include.  Is it from a literary source?  Is there more to the description—any mention of size of the plant and whether it grew near the lake or high in the mountains?  It would help us even more if you have a photograph. If you do, please visit our Mr. Smarty Plants' Plant Identification page to read the instructions for submitting your photos for identification. Mr. Smarty Plants loves identifying plants, but I'm afraid you need to furnish us with a little more information for us to do that.

 

More Plant Identification Questions

Cottage pink
October 07, 2007 - What is the flower cottage pink?
view the full question and answer

Identification of non-native Grape Hyacinth
April 13, 2013 - Mr Smarty Plants, can you tell me please, what is the name of the flower in the attached link? I see numerous references to it as blue bells or bluebells, but when I check the USDA Plants database, no...
view the full question and answer

Identification of vine with large leaves and blue-black berries
January 15, 2013 - I visited a creek with a limestone seep spring that supplies it. Around the creek is growing some kind plant that has leaves that are very similar to a briar, or snailseed. However, the leaves of the ...
view the full question and answer

Tall lily with dark berry at leaf attachment
June 25, 2012 - A lily showed up in my flower garden last year (central Illinois); about 3' tall, a single dark berry at the stem where each leaf is attached. It didn't flower. This year it's approaching 4' tall ...
view the full question and answer

Identifying
September 01, 2007 - i have a tree that i cannot identify. the leaf looks like a "pot plant"(yes, cannabis!!), but the leaf does not have serrated edges. it has a long bloom of numerous small white flowers that form a s...
view the full question and answer

Smarty Plants's Facebook profile Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.

Mr. Smarty Plants wants you to be his Facebook friend. Click the Facebook icon to add yourself to Mr. Smarty Plants list of friends.
E-NEWSLETTER | BECOME A MEMBER | DONATE NOW | MEDIA | SITEMAP
© 2014 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center