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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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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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Thursday - June 14, 2012

From: Decatur, GA
Region: Southeast
Topic: Herbs/Forbs, Wildflowers
Title: Plant Identification from Decatur GA
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

Hi: In early May 2012 we visited the Center--fantastic. There was a large shrub/tree with yellow blooms near a silo. Is it Retama? Also there was a lot of a purple blooming plant in with the coneflowers. I think it may be Monarda citriodora. It had fluffy purple blooms at the top of the stem. Thanks for any help you may be able to give me.

ANSWER:

We are glad you enjoyed a visit to the Wildflower Center. Since Mr. Smarty Plants ordinarily works online from home, we don't always know exactly what is blooming at a particular time and/or spot in the Center. Our incredible Garden Staff and volunteers keeps a constant succession of blooming plants on the grounds virtually year-round. On our Native Plant Database, we looked at flowers that bloomed in the specified color in Central Texas in May, and have four guesses for you. Follow each plant link to our webpage on that plant to read about it and see pictures. We also have some pictures from our Image Gallery, below, hope we hit the right choices.

Parkinsonia aculeata (Retama)

Tecoma stans (Yellow bells)

Monarda citriodora (Lemon beebalm)

Monarda fistulosa (Wild bergamot)

 

From the Image Gallery


Retama
Parkinsonia aculeata

Retama
Parkinsonia aculeata

Retama
Parkinsonia aculeata

Yellow bells
Tecoma stans

Yellow bells
Tecoma stans

Yellow bells
Tecoma stans

Lemon beebalm
Monarda citriodora

Lemon beebalm
Monarda citriodora

Lemon beebalm
Monarda citriodora

Wild bergamot
Monarda fistulosa

Wild bergamot
Monarda fistulosa

Wild bergamot
Monarda fistulosa

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