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

Plant identification for plant near Lake Tahoe
June 07, 2012 - Looking to figure out what this plant is: grows along water ways, moist areas in Lake Tahoe. Looks tropical. Only seen small versions of it but it looks like miniature bamboo with a softer stem and br...
view the full question and answer

Recognizing poison ivy
June 20, 2007 - I am having a difficult time identifying poison ivy. It seems so many plants look like poison ivy can you help me I don't want to kill everything but on the same hand I don't want to itch. Thanks f...
view the full question and answer

Plant identification in Keller TX
March 18, 2009 - I'm trying to i.d. a wildflower found in Keller, Tx. It is about 8 in. tall, single upright stem with narrow, slender leaves up the stem, several red blooms at top of stem about 1 inch wide, 5 petals...
view the full question and answer

Smarty Plants on Jimsonweed
August 07, 2005 - White flowers that are seen a lot along hwy 58 east towards Tehachapi; they look like "angel's trumpet" but not sure... they are big, white and have dark green leaves and cluster in a bush..any ideas?
view the full question and answer

Plant identification from Alpharetta GA
September 28, 2009 - I found a thorny bush in a yard. It had either immature fruit or a seed pod that I would like identified. The pod was a little larger than a golf ball, yellow, and a little fuzzy. When cut open it ...
view the full question and answer

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