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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 is a free service provided by the staff and volunteers at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center.

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Tuesday - June 27, 2006

From: Granite Shoals, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Wildflowers
Title: Identification of Texas bluebell (Eustoma exaltatum)
Answered by: Nan Hampton

QUESTION:

Very recently on the 6 o'clock news there was a report about The Center joining UT. There was a picture of a large, purple lily-like/trumpet flower with a yellow pistil. I recall my Grandmother calling them Jasmine Lilies. I have not seen them since the late 40's. I would like to get plants or seeds. I have started through your gallery but with 19000 plus and no name I need your help! Thanks for the work you do. best regards.

ANSWER:

I did not see that newscast, but I suspect the flower you saw was Texas bluebell or prairie gentian (Eustoma exaltatum ssp. russellianum). They are in full bloom in all their glory right now. You can find nurseries and seed companies that specialize in native plants in your area in our National Suppliers Gallery that carry seeds for Texas bluebells. In a quick search, I found that Native American Seeds in Junction, Texas has Eustoma exaltatum seeds for sale.
 

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