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
Not Yet Rated

Monday - May 17, 2010

From: Tualatin, OR
Region: Northwest
Topic: Plant Identification
Title: Was my grandmother growing a Honeysuckle Bush in Middleton, Idaho?
Answered by: Jimmy Mills

QUESTION:

I would like to know the name of the flowering bush that grew in the backyard of my grandmother's house in Middleton, Idaho. I remember it to be purple in color and had petals with what I used to call "bugles" that hung from underneath the petals. I would tear of the "bugles" and bite off the ends and suck out the nectar. I love this memory, but can't find them in any website/dictionary related to flowers/botany. Thanks for your help.

ANSWER:

Mr. Smarty Plants has a similar memory from his  youth of sucking nectar from flowers. Oh how sweet! We were in competition with butteflies and moths for the nectar.

The flowers were white and yellow, and the plant was called Honeysuckle.  As you have learned, "bugles" is not a standard botanical term for any flower parts, but there is a honeysuckle known as the trumpet honeysuckle which alludes to the shape of its tubular corolla.

There are numerous species of Honeysuckle, and I have found four that have flowers that range in color from pink, to red, to purple

The pink-flowered honeysuckle is known as Lonicera hispidula (pink honeysuckle) or California honeysuckle . (more images)

The red-flowered honeysuckle is known as Lonicera sempervirens (trumpet honeysuckle) or Coral Honeysuckle.  (more images) Since the distribution of the Coral Honeysuckle extends no farther west than Texas, it probably was not in your grandmother's yard.

A purple-flowered species is Lonicera conjugialis  and it is found in Idaho. (more images)

Another purple-flowered species that is invasive in Idaho and other states in the northwest is Lonicera  tartarica.  (more images)

I hope this helps refresh your memory.

 

 

More Plant Identification Questions

Mystery plant in VA
May 06, 2011 - We bought a new house with an established garden bed last fall. We have a tall single stemmed plant with long slightly twisted leaves that looks like a tall tulip plant. However, it is just starting...
view the full question and answer

Book for identifying Texas plants by dichotomous key from Seguin TX
October 12, 2009 - What is the best book(s) for identifying Texas plants using a dichotomous key?
view the full question and answer

Who was Salvia clevelandii named for?
May 12, 2009 - Where does the term "clevelandii (as in the Salvia I recently saw for the first time) originate?
view the full question and answer

Plant identification
June 12, 2014 - We live in Magnolia TX and have a shrub we can't identify. It's evergreen and has waxy leaves with a serrated edge that are about an inch in length. They have pink flowers and they grow to ab...
view the full question and answer

Dyes from native North American plants
November 29, 2012 - Dear Mr. Smarty Plants, I have been working as a textile designer for many years and am now interested in harvesting native North American plants in order to create natural dyes. Which plant ...
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 | STAFF
© 2015 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center