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

Report on object glowing in tree in New Hampshire
August 04, 2013 - Hello again Mr Smartpants. I commented about a purple glow coming from a tree in previous comments. Since then they have multiplied and are spreading to different trees. We believe we may have it narr...
view the full question and answer

Name for paloverde look-alike near Colorado Springs
July 26, 2011 - I don't know where this plant comes from. However, I am wondering what the name of plant of the following description would be. It is a shrub, about 2 to 3 feet tall and wide. It grows in zone 6 t...
view the full question and answer

What is the name of a green plantin Ohio with white flowers that kind of look like broccoli?
March 13, 2009 - Last summer I saw a plant that had very full, very light green almost white flowers that kind of looked like broccoli. Do you know the name of this plant?
view the full question and answer

Identification of possible wild plums thickets
May 19, 2008 - I have several "thickets" of small shrub/bushes on my land that I hunt on. These small trees are usually 5-7 feet tall, always grow in thickets of ten to up to sixty or so bushes. They are always lo...
view the full question and answer

Plant identification, possibly Phytolacca americana (American pokeweed)
September 07, 2010 - What wild growing plant has dark purple berries with a pinkish stem? The purple berries grow on their own stem and not in among the leaves, the leaves are green.
view the full question and answer

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