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
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

Native North American bulbs
August 19, 2011 - I saw your list of 4 lilies native to the Northeastern United States, which was very helpful. What other bulbs are native to North America? Although I garden in Connecticut, I am interested in learn...
view the full question and answer

Identity of evergreen tree at Barton Springs in Austin TX
October 11, 2015 - I am trying to identify an evergreen tree at Barton Springs in Austin. It is growing on the south lawn overlooking the pool. It has needles arranged in a fan like shape and makes a kind of crown-shape...
view the full question and answer

Are Yucca and Spanish dagger the same?
May 30, 2008 - We have Yucca, and we have Spanish Dagger. We don't think they are the same thing. Are they?
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

Botanical name for a kidney-shaped leaf
June 25, 2009 - Dear Mr Smarty Plants, I love the site.. but I was searching for id on this odd plant I have.. I have lived here a few years now, and have seen them before, never seemingly to have a flower..but ...
view the full question and answer

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