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?

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
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

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 mystery plant in non-native commercial forage mix
December 17, 2013 - Dear Smart One, I use a commercially prepared, fortified, chopped forage based on a mix of orchard and Timothy grasses. The bags are shipped in from out of State. However, I have been finding short s...
view the full question and answer

Identification of cucumber-like plant with red fruit
July 01, 2012 - Hi; My name is Peter, live in Lewisville. When I walked through a park trail last year, I noticed a very strange vine described as the following: It is vine with leaves and stems (size and shape) lo...
view the full question and answer

Invasive spreading weed in Michigan that looks like a small pine tree
July 29, 2013 - I have an invasive spreading weed in my gardens. It has black root system, comes up looking like a small pine tree. The green breaks off when you try to pull it.
view the full question and answer

Mystery plant
August 31, 2009 - mystery plant, multiple non-woody stems from a single base, thorns like a rose bush,leaves like poison ivy in sets of three with the top dark green underside pale green. thanks
view the full question and answer

How Can I Tell an Invasive Thistle from a Native
May 01, 2012 - Mr Smarty Plants, I have some thistles coming up in my yard. I'd like to keep them if they are native, but not if they are invasive or non-native. How can I tell? My yard is a wild area in West Lak...
view the full question and answer

Smarty Plants's Facebook profile Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.

Mr. Smarty Plants wants you to be his Facebook friend. Click the Facebook icon to add yourself to Mr. Smarty Plants list of friends.
E-NEWSLETTER | BECOME A MEMBER | DONATE NOW | MEDIA | SITEMAP
© 2014 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center