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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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Thursday - May 06, 2010

From: Toutle , WA
Region: Northwest
Topic: Plant Identification
Title: Can you identify a funny looking bulb that I bought at the grocery store? Probably not..
Answered by: Jimmy Mills


I looked through your data base and did not find what I was looking for. I bought this funny looking bulb at a grocery store. It looked like a giant shriveled spider when i bought them. Due to lack of care because of personal problems, they did not do well but one did come back this spring. It has 12-15 spear shaped leaves in a circle at the top of a stalk. The bud to the flower is about an inch long and has layers of green scales all the way to the top. I got rid of my personal problem and my house plants are flourishing and now am starting on my yard. Thanks for any help in identifying this strange but pretty plant.


Mr. Smarty Plants has found that it is difficult, if not impossible, to identify a plant from a written description regardless of how good the description is. I am going to offer two suggestions: one is to return to the store where you bought the bulb and see if they know what it is. The second is to go to our Plant Identification page and follow the instructions for sending us a photo of the plant. A picture is worth a thousand words.

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