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
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

Blue funnel-lily
Androstephium coeruleum

Fringed bluestar
Amsonia ciliata

Texas baby blue eyes
Nemophila phacelioides

Propeller flower
Alophia drummondii

Atlantic camas
Camassia scilloides

Prairie 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 ID of unknown purchased plant from Boise ID
June 24, 2012 - Hi! I bought a tree that the sales person didnt know what it was. I thought it was a cherry tree and now after about 3-4 yrs I know it is but..How do I know if it is an ornamental tree or real fruit t...
view the full question and answer

Plant identification
June 18, 2011 - Hello- I would like to know what is this plant? It grows in part to full sun over a large area; gray fuzzy, quilted, pointed leaves. It is now about 6-10" tall plants but there are untrimmed 24-3...
view the full question and answer

Identification of a mint-like plant in California
July 21, 2013 - I found a plant growing near my apricot (in Fresno, California). It has a square stem which becomes more rounded toward the base. The leaves are smooth, opposite, and they have three to five leaflets ...
view the full question and answer

Plant identification
September 06, 2009 - Could you please identify a plant with a scalloped elephant ear type leaf, wooden base with oval areas where old large wooden roots from above the ground have fallen off.
view the full question and answer

Plant identification
June 17, 2011 - I have an area of some plants growing wild in woods behind my house. It will creep onto adjoining plants and has a delicate lavender colored flower that is curled up similar to a sweetpea, has a very ...
view the full question and answer

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