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

What is the weed of Cortez from Shreveport, LA
November 13, 2009 - I am trying to locate the weed of Cortez. I live in northern Louisiana. Can you please let me know if you have ever heard of this? I was told that is a very rare large red flower that blooms in the sp...
view the full question and answer

What is Carolina Jessamine in San Antonio?
July 24, 2009 - Okay, so if Gelsemium sempervirens is the one photographed by Joe Marcus in the "Explore Plants" section, then what is the actual name of the plant that is in every other yard in San Antonio, widely...
view the full question and answer

Identification of riparian plant in Pennsylvania
June 05, 2013 - I'm wondering if this is a native plant: the plant is 3-5ft. tall, it has a tough reedy stalk, grows in sunny riparian areas, has whorled leaves with toothed margin, and has elongated clusters of tin...
view the full question and answer

Identification of small mint-like plant in Virginia
May 19, 2013 - I am looking for a mint plant my mother use to have but we didn't plant. It grew in Earlysville, Virginia in red clay soil. The cat loved it but it was neither catnip nor catmint. It was under six in...
view the full question and answer

Sumac Leaves Turning Red
November 22, 2013 - Hi, Mr. Smarty Plants, I recently planted a flowering sumac bush. Is it normal for that plant to get fall leaf-color? About a week after planting it, the temp reached the mid-30s, and after that, I ...
view the full question and answer

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