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

Wednesday - July 28, 2010

From: Austin, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Plant Identification
Title: Plant identification
Answered by: Nan Hampton

QUESTION:

I am trying to identify a plant that was given as a gift.It is growing outside in a pot, it is about 20 inches tall. Has green leaves on top, purple underneath and lovely purple flowers. Seems to like part shade. Any idea what this might be?

ANSWER:

Our focus and expertise here at the Wildflower Center are with plants native to North America and Mr. Smarty Plants thinks that it is very unlikely (although not impossible) that a plant that someone gave you as a gift is a native plant.  If you think it is, however, please follow the instructions found on Mr. Smarty Plants' Plant Identification page and send us photos and we will do our best to identify it.  If it isn't a native plant, you should send your photos to the UBC Botanical Garden Plant Identification Forum.  They are excellent at identifying introduced non-native plants.

 

More Plant Identification Questions

Difference between invasive Chinese and Japanese wisterias and native wisteria
September 12, 2014 - Dear Mr or Ms Smarty Plants, Is there any way I can tell for sure if my wisteria is native? I bought it at a place when it was in bloom that sold a lot of native plants. I Would like to know for sure...
view the full question and answer

Plant identification
September 30, 2007 - We found this plant or something or other in our yard, in the area we found it usually stays wet and it was behind a old tree that was done. It has three big green leaves with a white stem that kind ...
view the full question and answer

Plant identification
June 01, 2009 - I'm trying to identify a bush/shrub that is approx. 6 ft. with leaves like an azalea but has orange hot air balloon shaped balls that turn to small orange flowers. Blooming now in May. Dies back ea...
view the full question and answer

Identification of plants from India
April 20, 2011 - Where can I find identification of a plant that is from India. It climbs up trees and has beautiful small orchid type flowers.
view the full question and answer

Identification of mystery tree in Huntington Beach, CA
March 25, 2015 - Have a "tree" that has grown from about 18" tall to about 10' tall in a little over a years time. It has a central trunk that is about 3/4" in diameter at it's largest. It has short thin branch...
view the full question and answer

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