En Español

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

Ripe fruit of Melothria pendula (Guadaloupe cucumber)
July 22, 2014 - I see the pictures of the guadualupe cucumber plant. The fruit is still green. When it matures does it look like a small tomato? I have noticed the vine when the fruit is ripe. This is in McLennan C...
view the full question and answer

Plant identification
May 19, 2009 - I found a large shrub/tree behind an old building on my place. It has small smooth oval leaves 3/4-1 inch; x 1/2 inch, small somewhat clusters of a blue fruit 1/4-1/2 inch diam with one seed in it. Ca...
view the full question and answer

Plant identification and advice about moving it
March 10, 2010 - I have a plant (a thick stalk about 4 foot tall with yellow flowers on it) that blooms in the morning and the flowers fall off at night. I have searched for info on this plant and have come up short. ...
view the full question and answer

Plant identification from photos
April 11, 2008 - I have 3 photos of the same plant, and no one knows what it is. Can I send you the photos, they are small jpegs, for identification? Thank you.
view the full question and answer

Questions about lilies from Trussville AL
January 10, 2012 - How can I tell what kind of lily I have? Or better yet,what is the difference between Asiatic lily and a daylily? I also noticed someone asked about Cahaba lily. Just want to let you know I grow Caha...
view the full question and answer

Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.
E-NEWSLETTER | BECOME A MEMBER | DONATE NOW | MEDIA | JOBS | SITEMAP | STAFF INTRANET
© 2016 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center