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

Friday - May 06, 2011

From: Springfield, VA
Region: Mid-Atlantic
Topic: Plant Identification
Title: Mystery plant in VA
Answered by: Anne Bossart

QUESTION:

We bought a new house with an established garden bed last fall. We have a tall single stemmed plant with long slightly twisted leaves that looks like a tall tulip plant. However, it is just starting to bloom with a cluster of brownish pink bell shaped flowers hanging at the tip of this 3 foot stem. Can you tell us what it may be?

ANSWER:

Unfortunately, we have no way of positively identifying a plant without a photograph (and sometimes that is kind of "iffy") but your description  made me wonder if it might not be a fritillaria.

Although all the members of that group native to the US are native to the western states, it is a huge family and the bulbs from all over the world are planted widely.  Check out this Wikipedia entry to see if you find your plant. It might be a Crown Imperial.

Here are some photos of the fritillaria known as Checker lily or Mission bells.


Fritillaria affinis var. affinis


Fritillaria affinis var. affinis

 

 

More Plant Identification Questions

Identity of small "Pitcher" plants growing in backyard
July 25, 2013 - I have small pitcher plants growing in the grass in my backyard. Looks like very dark cobra. Come every summer when very hot. They are about 4 or 5 inches from base to tip of hood. I have a pic. le...
view the full question and answer

More information about Trillium in New Jersey
June 23, 2011 - Hi, Nan. FYI. The Trillium seeds in question came from the State of Alabama. If you have an interest in seeing photos of this Trillium and two others in my garden, which are different and which I be...
view the full question and answer

Plant ID of invasive vine from Austin
August 21, 2013 - A friend lives in southwest Austin and has a vine that's coming up all over her yard. I am a Williamson County Master Gardener and have asked all the garden gurus in my group what it is from a photo ...
view the full question and answer

Removing faded flowers from plants in Georgetown, DE
July 28, 2012 - I bought a chamase rose quartz that was in bloom. now the buds are dead, should i remove them or just leave them on the plant. they wont just fall off. and the tips of the plant has new growth.
view the full question and answer

Plant identification
December 17, 2009 - For a few weeks now the front of our school has had an on and off smell that to some was like a dead animal. To others it smelled like dirty fish fry oil. Maintenance people came out and found the sou...
view the full question and answer

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