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

Plant identfication
July 30, 2009 - Hello - Can you help me ID a plant? There are a few growing in grassy areas off roadways in Luna, NM. I will attach photos in photo section. Thanks.
view the full question and answer

Herb used in treating stomachache
May 14, 2008 - Growing up in St. Petersburg, Fl my father had an herb or plant that he pronounced kee-low and I always thought it was spelled kilo. He would take it and pick it, dry it out and then make tea with it....
view the full question and answer

Possible gourd vine growing in backyard in Camden, TN.
July 17, 2012 - I have a long green vine growing in my backyard. It's got green bulbs the size of kiwi on it and they're filled with white seeds. I would appreciate it if you guys could tell me what it is! Thanks!
view the full question and answer

Plant identification
May 03, 2010 - I have a 50 ft tree in my front forest apartment in Lewisburg, TN garden, that is blooming white cluster flowers. They are slightly fragrant. I thought Carolina silverbell but they have NO yellow stam...
view the full question and answer

Identification of plants emerging from "wildflower mix" of seeds
January 02, 2007 - I planted a "wildflower mix" a couple months ago, and now I have a bunch of plants growing that I'm not sure what they are. Some of them are starting to make buds, and I've been looking on the in...
view the full question and answer

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