En EspaŅol

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?


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
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

Sunday - June 17, 2012

From: St. Augustine, FL
Region: Southeast
Topic: Plant Identification
Title: Identity of garlic-like plant in Florida
Answered by: Nan Hampton


Please tell me what this plant is. It is not Society Garlic and it is not Meadow Garlic. It has THREE curling purple leaves and lots of bulbs flowering from the same stalk. The pointy leaves are edged with purple when young. How do I send a photo? Thanks!


About the only North American native plant I can come up with from your description is Allium tricoccum (Ramp).   The leaves themselves aren't purple, but the stems are maroon or purple.  Here are more photos and information from The Forager Press, Illinois Wildflowers, and Connecticut Wildflowers.  It is entirely possible it is an introduced non-native plant but our expertise and focus at the Wildflower Center are with plants native to North America.

I am sorry but we no longer accept photos of plants for identification.  We don't have the number of staff or volunteers to keep up with the overwhelming volume of photos we received.  As you can read on our Plant Identification page: 

"We would love to spend all day identifying native plants for you folks! However, we already spend all day (and most of the night) answering your native plant questions. Luckily, there are some excellent forums available to help you identify those mysterious unknowns."

You can find links on our Plant identification page to those plant identification forums that will accept your photos for identification.


More Plant Identification Questions

Identification of a Globe Mallow
March 14, 2008 - Mr. SP, Two or three years ago I purchased a mallow at the Wildflower Center that (I was told) had not yet been identified. I have looked at your pictures of Sphaeralcea hastulata which has the same ...
view the full question and answer

Plant identfication
August 16, 2009 - We live in a forested area in Rockmart,GA. There is a creek in the woods and a lily type plant that only flowers occasionally. It is white in the center and has thin white spires that jut out from t...
view the full question and answer

Mystery plant in New Jersey
December 29, 2009 - We are trying to find the name of a shrub, growing in Southern New Jersey. with red berries that grow in a group much like lilac or oak leaf hydrangea. It is "feathery", not dense. A neighbor dug u...
view the full question and answer

Identification of yellow flowers in Wisconsin
June 19, 2012 - We have plants near Madison, Wisconsin that some call lanceleaf coreoposis however I believe they are some type of invasive species. They have yellow flowers, seem to spread by seed. and don't grown ...
view the full question and answer

Invasive vine with yellow flowers in Austin
June 21, 2015 - What is the invasive vine in Austin that has wire like stems and small leaves. It just blossomed huge yellow flowers this spring. It climbs cliff, trees, bldgs., etc.
view the full question and answer

Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.
© 2015 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center