En EspaŅol
Share

Ask Mr. Smarty Plants

Mr. Smarty Plants - Identification of bluebonnet-like flower

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
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

Purple locoweed
Astragalus mollissimus

Emory's milkvetch
Astragalus emoryanus

More Plant Identification Questions

Plant Identification
October 23, 2008 - We live near Milwaukee Wisconsin. This summer a 5' plant grew by itself in the middle of my flower bed. It has elongated oval green leaves, but its the flowers that are exceptional. They are long,...
view the full question and answer

Plant identification
September 09, 2011 - In North Central Texas recommended plants, there are three coneflowers listed: Echinacea angustifolia-Black sampson E. purpurea-Purple coneflower E. purpurea-Eastern purple coneflower Is the Eas...
view the full question and answer

Non-blooming of an apparent yucca in Ohio
March 09, 2009 - I have what looks like a yucca plant in my flower bed. but in the 3 years we have lived here it has never bloomed. It did get a little bigger and has always been green. If it is a yucca, is there any ...
view the full question and answer

Plant called beargrass from Granbury, TX
September 24, 2011 - I am not a native Texan. We have a clump of what my husband (from Big Spring) calls "Bear Grass." It is over to the side of our yard and we have always enjoyed it (moved here in 1982). It blooms ...
view the full question and answer

Possible identification of common mullein in New York
July 06, 2007 - OK I have a monster size plant, growing beside my patio, looked weedlike similar to a burdock when young, but different and interesting. So we let it grow its now about 7'2" tall grows about 2-3" ...
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