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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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Sunday - July 18, 2010

From: Centerville, TN
Region: Southeast
Topic: Plant Identification
Title: Plant identification
Answered by: Nan Hampton

QUESTION:

My daughter is working on a wildflower collection for her Biology class, we have found a flower, that, for appearances sake, is identified in books as Selfheal. This flower is taller than pictures we are seeing, it has a red/purple stem, no downy hair under leaves, does not smell of anise, and the flower coming out of the bracts is a deep purple color, not the light pink/purple color we see of the Selfheal. The only similarity to that plant is the way the flower is bract. Can you help?

ANSWER:

I have one suggestion for the description that you gave of the flower your daughter found.  It could possibly be Verbena stricta (hoary verbena).  Here are more photos from Minnesota Wildflowers, Kansas Wildflowers & Grasses, and from Nearctica.  If that isn't it, please send us photos and we will do our best to identify it.  Visit Mr. Smarty Plants' Plant Identification page for instructions for submitting photos.




 

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