En EspaŅol

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
Can't find the answer in our existing FAQs, submit a question to Mr. Smarty Plants.
Need help with plant identification, visit the plant identification page.
 
rate this answer
2 ratings

Tuesday - April 10, 2012

From: Salado, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Plant Identification
Title: Identification of blue flower
Answered by: Nan Hampton

QUESTION:

I have two similar (but obviously different) wild flowers growing on my property. I have pictures of each. What email address can I use to send them to you to identify? I thought one was blue-eyed grass, until the other bloomed. Now it seems fairly obvious that first is not b.e.g. and the other is unknown. (I've looked in several field guides with no success.) Thanks for your help.

ANSWER:

Mr. Smarty Plants would love to be able to accept photographs for identification.   Unfortunately, we don't have enough staff or volunteers to do this anymore.  We were overwhelmed with photos and requests for identification.  Please visit our Plant Identification page for links to several plant identification forums that will, however, accept photos for identification.

Using your description and assuming that the flowers were blue (even if they weren't blue-eyed grass), I will offer some possibilities for your two flowers: 

Herbertia lahue (Prairie nymph)

Nemastylis geminiflora (Prairie celestials)

Androstephium caeruleum (Androstephium)

Amsonia ciliata (Fringed bluestar)

Nemophila phacelioides (Baby blue-eyes)

Alophia drummondii (Propeller flower)

Camassia scilloides (Atlantic camas)

Delphinium carolinianum (Carolina larkspur)

Giliastrum incisum (Split-leaf gilia)

Nuttallanthus texanus (Texas toad-flax)

Phacelia patuliflora (Blue phacelia)

Triodanis coloradoensis (Colorado venus' looking-glass)

Triodanis perfoliata (Clasping venus' looking-glass)

Tinantia anomala (False dayflower)

To see more possibilities, you can search in our Native Plant Database for blue flowers that bloom in Texas in the spring by doing a COMBINATION SEARCH choosing "Texas" from Select State or Province; "Herb" under Habit (general appearance); "March", "April", and "May" under Bloom Time; and "Blue" under Bloom Color.  Since Texas is a large place with many differenct eco-regions, all the blue flowers that will result from that search won't necessarily be ones that occur in Central Texas.   If you see one that you think might be one of the flowers you saw, you can check the distribution map on the USDA Plants Database by scrolling down the species page in our Native Plant Database to the ADDITONAL RESOURCES section near the bottom of the page.  Click on the USDA link and then click on Texas on the distribution map to see which counties in Texas have reported the plant.  The plants listed above were found in or within two counties of Bell County.

 

From the Image Gallery


Prairie nymph
Herbertia lahue

Prairie celestials
Nemastylis geminiflora

Androstephium
Androstephium caeruleum

Fringed bluestar
Amsonia ciliata

Baby blue-eyes
Nemophila phacelioides

Propeller flower
Alophia drummondii

Atlantic camas
Camassia scilloides

Carolina larkspur
Delphinium carolinianum

Split-leaf gilia
Giliastrum incisum

Texas toad-flax
Nuttallanthus texanus

Blue phacelia
Phacelia patuliflora

Colorado venus' looking-glass
Triodanis coloradoensis

More Plant Identification Questions

Plant identification in Florida
April 03, 2012 - Hello, I have a plant that I bought at a local nursery (now closed). It only came with a label that read "Sun". The plant has many long willowy stems coming up from the ground, green saw-notched lea...
view the full question and answer

Identification of shrub/small tree with small purple fruit
July 31, 2013 - Hi! I have a tree/bush that has come up on its own in the backyard. This year it set what looks like small purple plums. Is there any chance that they might be poisonous?
view the full question and answer

Identity of shrub with brownish flowers called cinnamon bush
April 25, 2012 - When I lived in Vernon, CT, my neighbor had a small shrub/tree approximately 5 ft tall with small ovate slightly serrated leaves. In spring it produced reddish brown flowers that were of a hardened p...
view the full question and answer

Identification of maypop north of Houston
March 08, 2008 - I have some land in the country an hour north of Houston, Texas. There is a wild plant which grows in clusters from 10' to 20' wide. These plants grow about 6" or 12" apart.They are approx. one fo...
view the full question and answer

Plant identification
July 10, 2014 - I am trying to identify a wildflower that has popped up after a big rain. It is under a foot tall---blooms a yellow bloom in the evenings. It has long narrow leaves sort of like a rosemary. It grows f...
view the full question and answer

Smarty Plants's Facebook profile Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.

Mr. Smarty Plants wants you to be his Facebook friend. Click the Facebook icon to add yourself to Mr. Smarty Plants list of friends.
E-NEWSLETTER | BECOME A MEMBER | DONATE NOW | MEDIA | SITEMAP
© 2014 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center