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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.

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Ask Mr. Smarty Plants is a free service provided by the staff and volunteers at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center.

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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.

 
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Monday - August 23, 2010

From: Sarasota, FL
Region: Southeast
Topic: Plant Identification, Transplants
Title: Plant identification from Sarasota, FL.
Answered by: Jimmy Mills

QUESTION:

Hi I recently went to Discovery Cove in Orlando Florida and saw a purple flowering tree/shrub that had branches similar to okra shape or starfruit shape, the leaves were very grainy similar to alligator skin. Wondering if you could tell me what this is? I have looked on the internet and cant seem to find it. Thank you.

ANSWER:

Mr. Smarty Plants has found that it is difficult, if not impossible, to identify a plant from a written description even if it's well done. Did you happen to take a picture of the plant? If so, go to the Plant Identification Page  and followi the instructions for submitting a photo.

I did a Combination Search of the Native Plant Data Base , and the only purple flowering tree I found from Florida was  Asimina triloba (pawpaw).   Of course, the plant you saw may have been a non-naive. If this isn't your plant, we really need to see a picture.

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