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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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Monday - June 07, 2010

From: Nederland , TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Plant Identification
Title: How to distinguish white-flowered Baptisias?
Answered by: Joe Marcus

QUESTION:

How can I tell the difference between Baptisia alba and Baptisia alba var. macrophylla

ANSWER:

Since you're located in Texas, if you have a white-flowered Baptisia blooming now, it's almost certainly Baptisia alba var. macrophylla.  In general, B. a. var. macrophylla grows larger than the type.  Also, the ranges of B. a. var. alba and the similar species, B. albescens, are limited to the Deep South and do not extend west of Mississippi.  Another, creamy-white to yellow flowered species, Baptisia bracteata var. leucophaea does occur in Texas, but it flowers in early spring.

 

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