En EspaŅol

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?


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
Can't find the answer in our existing FAQs, submit a question to Mr. Smarty Plants.
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


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?


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

Plant identification
September 09, 2011 - In North Central Texas recommended plants, there are three coneflowers listed: Echinacea angustifolia-Black sampson E. purpurea-Purple coneflower E. purpurea-Eastern purple coneflower Is the Eas...
view the full question and answer

Plant identification
July 29, 2008 - Greetings, Sir/Madam! What is the name of that weed that grows ubiquitously in St. Augustine, Fl (literally overnight when it rains) and has two skinny "arms", with little greenish beads on the arm...
view the full question and answer

Identity of plant with thorns in Maryland
August 27, 2013 - I live in Maryland and was walking in the woods one day when I accidentally stumbled in to a thorn bush. I don't remember what color the thorns where or very much about the plant in general but I do ...
view the full question and answer

Identification of blue wildflower on roadsides in Massachusetts
July 28, 2012 - What is the blue wildflower planted on roadsides and highways in Massachusetts?
view the full question and answer

Identification of yellow flowers in Wisconsin
June 19, 2012 - We have plants near Madison, Wisconsin that some call lanceleaf coreoposis however I believe they are some type of invasive species. They have yellow flowers, seem to spread by seed. and don't grown ...
view the full question and answer

Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.
© 2015 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center