En Español

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
Not Yet Rated

Monday - May 14, 2012

From: Nemo, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Plant Identification
Title: Identification of bluebonnet-like flower
Answered by: Nan Hampton

QUESTION:

I have discovered a plant that looks like a bluebonnet but is much larger. It has leggy stems and similar leaf structure and the bonnet in more compact with purple vs blue flowers. The plant is growing 6 miles east of Glen Rose, Texas near the tiny town of Nemo, Texas. I do have photos of the plant but I cannot download them here at my office. I will be happy to forward them to you from home.

ANSWER:

There are several possibilities for your flower in Somervell County.   I think most likely it is one of the species of Pediomelum:

Pediomelum cuspidatum (Indian-turnip)

Pediomelum latestipulatum var. latestipulatum (Texas plains indian breadroot)

Pediomelum cyphocalyx (Turniproot)

Pediomelum esculentum (Large indian breadroot) and here are more photos and information from Kansas Wildflowers & Grasses.

Pediomelum hypogaeum var. scaposum (Subterranean indian breadroot)

There are a couple of species of Lupinus that are very remote possibilities, but neither has been reported in or near Somervell County.  They are:

Lupinus perennis (Sundial lupine) is a possibility but it's normal distribution is southeast Texas on the Louisiana border and in states and Canadian province east and north of there.

The distribution of Lupinus plattensis (Dune bluebonnet) includes the Texas panhandle and Oklahoma, New Mexico, Colorado, Nebraska, Wyoming and Montana.

Two species of Astragalus have flowers that resemble bluebonnets, but their leaf shape is different.

Astragalus mollissimus (Purple locoweed)

Astragalus emoryanus (Emory's milkvetch)

If you don't think that one of the above is the flower you saw, please visit our Plant Identification page to find links to plant identification forums that accept photos for identification.   We are sorry but we no longer accept photos of plants to identify because we lack the staff and volunteers to handle the volume of requests we once received.

 

From the Image Gallery


Indian-turnip
Pediomelum cuspidatum

Texas plains indian breadroot
Pediomelum latestipulatum var. latestipulatum

Turniproot
Pediomelum cyphocalyx

Large indian breadroot
Pediomelum esculentum

Subterranean indian breadroot
Pediomelum hypogaeum var. scaposum

Sundial lupine
Lupinus perennis

Nebraska lupine
Lupinus plattensis

Woolly locoweed
Astragalus mollissimus

Emory's milkvetch
Astragalus emoryanus

More Plant Identification Questions

Plant identification
May 12, 2012 - I don't know if they are native or not, My mom bought some plants at an event at the Dallas Convention Center that all had rocks and little dirt that they sat on. The bases of the plants were large a...
view the full question and answer

Visual differences among members of the Apiaceae
July 21, 2012 - What is the visual difference between queen anne's lace and hemlock and cowslip parsley? I live in Marin county, California and have often been confused as to which is what? Thank you!
view the full question and answer

Wild native trees with orange blooms
March 30, 2012 - What is the wild native tree that is blooming orange blooms - as you drive down the road thru Chappel Hill, and Brenham area. I've never seen these before when we went viewing bluebonnets - however,...
view the full question and answer

Identity of plant growing on deck
May 12, 2012 - I can't find the name of a plant that I had on my deck, it didn't come back this year. It was a bush like plant that grew wild, it bloomed May thru August with red small flowers. My deck gets full...
view the full question and answer

Identification of a tree in Florida with bell-shaped red flowers
November 23, 2012 - A friend in Florida has asked about identification of a tree with a flower none of us have ever seen. It starts with a green pod, then flowers into, what looks to me like a Chinese lantern, or bell. I...
view the full question and answer

Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.
E-NEWSLETTER | BECOME A MEMBER | DONATE NOW | MEDIA | JOBS | SITEMAP | STAFF INTRANET
© 2016 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center