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
5 ratings

Sunday - July 10, 2011

From: Ocoee, FL
Region: Southeast
Topic: Plant Identification
Title: Plant identification for Florida
Answered by: Nan Hampton

QUESTION:

I am looking for the name of a plant that has long stalks and wispy long leaves with large round purple flowers on the end.

ANSWER:

From the description you provided I did three COMBINATION SEARCH-es in our Native Plant Database. I chose 'Florida' from Select State or Province, 'Herb' under Habit (general appearance) and then under Bloom Characteristics-Color:  'Pink', 'Blue', 'Purple' and 'Violet' for the first search.  For the other two searches I substituted either 'Subshrub' or 'Shrub' for 'Herb' under Habit (general appearance).  You can do the same searches yourself, but I could not find a native Florida plant that fits your description.   If your plant is a plant native to Florida, it should have appeared in our database.  I also searched in several Florida and southeastern US wildflower field guides and databases (e.g., Southeastern Flora and Gallery of Florida Wildflowers) and wasn't successful in finding a match.  A little more information about the plant would have been helpful—for instance, its overall size, the setting where you saw it, if the stems are woody, how large the flowers are, how many petals each flower has, etc.).  I suspect it is an introduced ornamental plant and not native to North America.  If so, it is out of our area of expertise.   Your best bet for learning its identity is to submit a photo, if you have one, to one of the plant identification forums.  You can find links to several forums on our Plant Identification page.

 

More Plant Identification Questions

Plant identification
May 06, 2010 - My neighbor has a few trees in his pasture that his horses love to eat the fruit off of. The fruit looks like a lemon but smaller and has lots of seeds inside of it. The trees have very long thorns on...
view the full question and answer

Will Butterfly Plant Survive in Mansfield, Texas
January 06, 2012 - I have a butterfly plant that was very successful (about 4 feet tall) right up until the cold snap three weeks ago. I've read they have a tap root, so I'm hoping it will come back next spring. Mea...
view the full question and answer

Plant Identification from Clarksville TN
May 04, 2013 - We live on a north facing wooded ridge line in Middle TN. I have a single large (6') bush that is blooming now (late April) with beautiful 6" long, end of stem clusters of small pink flowers in 3-5...
view the full question and answer

Identifiation of Castela erecta ssp. texana as armagosa
June 27, 2007 - I am reading a document that includes the name Armagosa in a list of plants identified in a south Texas (Maverick Co.) vegetation analysis(shrub/sub-shrub layer). Unfortunately the list of species di...
view the full question and answer

Mystery dill-type weed
September 01, 2008 - My daughter has a weed growing in her flower bed that look very simular to dill weed, but thicker. If you pinch it, it has a sticky milky substance come out. Can you tell me what this plant may be? ...
view the full question and answer

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