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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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Did you know you can access the Native Plant Information Network with your web-enabled smartphone?

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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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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.

 
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Saturday - June 16, 2012

From: Rochester, NY
Region: Northeast
Topic: Plant Identification
Title: Plant identification
Answered by: Nan Hampton

QUESTION:

Hello Mr. Smarty Plants: We conducted an Internet search to find a name for a plant we have that has 2 opposing leaves on stalks, and is starting to grow a purple flower in the middle, near the ground. Pics of ground cherries do not match, though one black and white picture seem similar, but no purple flower is mentioned. we are in Rochester, NY and really wondering what we have here! It is about a foot tall and is living in the shade near our hosta plants. It could be a weed or a tree, but nothing seems to match! We will try to attach a picture.

ANSWER:

You can do a COMBINATION SEARCH on our Native Plant Database, choosing "New York" from the Select State or Province option, "Herb" from Habit (general appearance) and "Blue", Purple" and "Violet" from Bloom Color.  This will give you a list of 274 plants.  Almost all of these have thumbnail photos that you can scroll through.   None of these that I could see match your description.   If you have photos, you can visit our Plant Identification page to find links to plant identification forums that accept photos of plants for identification.

 

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