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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.

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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.

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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!

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Saturday - June 17, 2006

From: Austin, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Wildflower Center
Title: Possible identification of plant purchased at Wildflower Center
Answered by: Joe Marcus, Sean Watson and Nan Hampton

QUESTION:

Hi - I'm looking for the name of a plant I bought at the Wildflower Center. It's currently in a gallon container and about 8 inches high. The leaves are green (on the yellow end of the spectrum), velvety, fleshy (a bit more than an African Violet), and about 1/4" to 1/2" round with scalloped edges. The plant has about 10 stems which are growing in a round mound, like slightly overgrown broccoli. Thanks so much for your help,

ANSWER:

We have several suggestions. Some have leaves that are larger than you describe, but the new leaves would be about the right size. When you look at the pages for the individual plants, be sure to select "Images" from the menu at the top of each page to see additional photos. If none of these looks like your plant, perhaps you could send us a photo. You can read instructions for sending digital pictures on the Ask the Expert page. Here are the suggestions:

1. Cardinal Feather (Acalypha radians)
2. Cedar sage (Salvia roemeriana)
3. Butterfly bush (Buddleja marrubiifolia)
4. Mouse ears (Bernardia myricifolia)
5. Heartleaf skullcap (Scutellaria ovata)
6. Texas lantana Lantana urticoides)
 

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