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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.

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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.

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Saturday - May 12, 2012

From: Struthers, OH
Region: Mid-Atlantic
Topic: Plant Identification
Title: Identity of plant growing on deck
Answered by: Nan Hampton

QUESTION:

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 sun. I am not sure if it was an annual or perennial but it was in a planter. I'm looking for the same type of greenery that will bloom all summer. My husband is driving me crazy looking in greenhouse for this plant. Any suggestions.

ANSWER:

The fact that the plant was growing in a planter leads me to think that it was a non-native cultivar.  Since our focus and expertise at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center are with plants native to North America, we aren't your best source for identifying non-native cultivars.  If you have a photo of it, you can submit it to one or more of the Plant Identification Forums listed on our Plant Identification page.

You do say that it grew wild.   If you dug it up from the wild and planted it in your planter, it may well have been a native plant.  To look for it, you can do a COMBINATION SEARCH in our Native Plant Database by choosing "Ohio" from the Select State or Province, "Shrub" or "Herb" from the Habit (general appearance) slot and "Red" for Bloom Color.  You also can choose other characteristics that help to describe your plant.  Another way to look for your plant is on the list of Ohio Recommended plants which are: "Commercially available native plant species suitable for planned landscapes in Ohio."  If you don't find your plant, perhaps you will see another plant that you like.

 

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