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

Tuesday - May 04, 2010

From: Ovilla, TX
Region: Select Region
Topic: Plant Identification
Title: Identification of tree in Ovilla TX area
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

Can you identify a tall,(wild?) tree covered with fragrant, pink/lavender blooms? Have seen several in the Ovilla area this spring.

ANSWER:

You will need to first look at the areas where the trees are blooming, and see if they are in Sun (6 or more hours of sun a day), Part Shade (2 to 6 hours of sun daily) or Shade (less than 2 hours of sun). 

Let us introduce you to an exercise called "Combination Search".  Go to our Native Plant Database  and scroll down to the Combination Search window. Select Texas under Select State, Tree under Habit.  Under Light Requirement, check Part Shade or Shade (whichever applies); under Bloom, check May for when blooms appear and both pink and purple under flower color. Click the "Submit combination Search" button and you will get a list of plants from our NPIN data base with images  that match these characteristics. By clicking on the name of each plant, you will pull up its NPIN page that contains descriptions of the plants along with growth requirements as well as more images. You can generate other lists by changing the choice in the categories.

When we tried this out, without specifying the amount of sun available, we got 19 possibilities. It's always possible, especially in an urbanized area, that the trees you are seeing are escaped non-natives that were in gardens but were planted in wild areas by birds or even the wind. If so, they will not be in our Native Plant Database.  If you can get some pictures of the tree, the bark, the blooms and the leaves, you can submit it to our Plant Identification site with as much description of conditions as you can get. Then, we'll take a crack at figuring out what you have been seeing. 

 

More Plant Identification Questions

Weird-looking rootless plant, perhaps a fungus
August 23, 2008 - While out it my backyard (i.e. the Black Hills of South Dakota), I spotted a weird-looking rootless plant (I think it may be a fungus) growing beneath the Ponderosa Pines. It was the only one in the a...
view the full question and answer

Is Tagetes lemmonii a Texas native?
July 15, 2008 - Is the Copper Canyon Daisy (Tagetes lemmonii) a native Texas plant?
view the full question and answer

Photographing and Identifying trees of Long Island
June 01, 2013 - After being in a car accident I got into photography as sports are a distant memory due to my injuries. As a new hobby I thought of taking pictures of trees and then finding out their species name. ...
view the full question and answer

Identification of small plant
May 31, 2011 - Hi, Mr. Smarty Plants, We are doing a biology project where we have to identify certain plants found in our area. We encountered a infinity symbol-shaped light green plant, about 4 cm high, and light...
view the full question and answer

Identification of possible wild plums thickets
May 19, 2008 - I have several "thickets" of small shrub/bushes on my land that I hunt on. These small trees are usually 5-7 feet tall, always grow in thickets of ten to up to sixty or so bushes. They are always lo...
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