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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 is a free service provided by the staff and volunteers at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center.

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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!

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Wednesday - May 26, 2010

From: Three Rivers, MI
Region: Midwest
Topic: Plant Identification
Title: Plant identification in Michigan
Answered by: Nan Hampton

QUESTION:

We are trying to identify a plant in our yard. It is seven inches tall in May, grows to about knee high, has red leaves, flowers in late June, early July. The flower is light pink. It is a perennial. The stem is red, and has two leaves growing out of the sides of stem at equal height. Thanks for your help.

ANSWER:

Mr. Smarty Planst loves to identify plants, but identification of a plant by description alone is very difficult, if not impossible, to do.  If it is a native plant, you might be able to find it yourself by doing a COMBINATION SEARCH in our Native Plant Database.  Select 'Michigan' from Select State or Province, 'Herb' from Habit (general appearance), 'Perennial' from Duration (lifespan), and the appropriate selections from Bloom characteristics and you may find it.  If it isn't a native plant, however, it won't be in the database.  You can send us a photo (see Mr. Smarty Plants' Plant Identification page for instructions) and, if it is a North American native, we will do our best to identify it.  Since you say it doesn't bloom until June or July, you probably should wait until then to photograph it.  Please be sure you take a photo of the entire plant as well as a close-up photo of the leaves and the blossom.  Also, please send us in focus, high resolution photos to examine.
 

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