Rent Shop Volunteer Join

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

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!

Need help with plant identification, visit the plant identification page.

 
rate this answer
Not Yet Rated

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.




 

More Plant Identification Questions

The most common wildflower in the United States
July 29, 2014 - What is the most common wildflower in the United States?
view the full question and answer

Plant identification
June 27, 2008 - A friend brought back pictures of plants from a recent trip which included the center. It didn't have an identification sign on it and no one was around at that moment for him to ask. I can send th...
view the full question and answer

Plant identification, Oxalis drummondii
October 07, 2009 - All around Austin in the last couple of weeks I've noticed a beautiful lavender flower blooming in dense clumps. I haven't been able to look at them closely because it seems they prefer to be in th...
view the full question and answer

Grapevine at the Wildflower Center
November 05, 2013 - Hello :) I recently visited the Lady Bird Wildflower Center for Goblins in the Garden. I'm curious if you all know exactly what type of grape is growing in the back of the garden near the "Heali...
view the full question and answer

Who was Salvia clevelandii named for?
May 12, 2009 - Where does the term "clevelandii (as in the Salvia I recently saw for the first time) originate?
view the full question and answer

Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.