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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 is a free service provided by the staff and volunteers at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center.

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Saturday - June 02, 2012

From: Austin, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Plant Identification, Shrubs
Title: Picture in newspaper from Austin
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

Your gardening story for the Jan 21,2012 in the Austin American Statesman pictured a pale green bush with purple flowers, however the plant was not identified. Can you tell me what it is? Thanks

ANSWER:

We have not seen the picture, but we are betting that it is Leucophyllum frutescens (Cenizo), because we have also seen them blooming all over town, in gardens and formal landscapes as well as in the open. According to legend, cenizo tends to bloom in conjunction with rainfall. If you haven't noticed it the last few years, it is because we haven't had rain. Follow the plant link to learn more about this really great shrub, which can bloom 12 months of the year, again, depending on rainfall.

 

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