Rent Shop Volunteer Join

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?

Share

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

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.

 
rate this answer
Not Yet Rated

Tuesday - August 14, 2012

From: Forsyth, GA
Region: Southeast
Topic: Non-Natives, Plant Identification
Title: Identity of a plant at UGA Trial Gardens 15 years ago
Answered by: Nan Hampton

QUESTION:

Looking to identify a plant that was in UGA trial gardens about 15 years ago, large plant with purple flowers, fuzzy leaves like a lambs ear. Thought it started with a Thiobana or something like that

ANSWER:

I visited the website for the The Trial Gardens at UGA just to see if I could find anything that sounded like the plant you describe even though it has been about 15 years since you saw it.  As you probably know, the Trial Gardens do research on ornamental plants to study and develop improved cultivars for the horicultural trade.

Their webpage shows results for perennials and annuals that they have been growing in their gardens.  Their records online don't go back to 15 years ago, but I thought it was worth a look anyhow.   I looked in both the perennials and the annuals that they had been testing and looked for a name that sounded something like "Thiobana" and lo, and behold, I found a plant called Tibouchina 'Athens Blue'.  There were no photos with the report but I searched on the internet and found photos of the plant and it does have purple flowers and fuzzy leaves.  Here is a photo of Tibouchina 'Athens Blue' and here is a photo of another species of Tibouchina, Tibouchina grandiflora (Glory Flower).  Here is another photo and information from AlmostEden.com.   According to the Almost Eden site, Tibouchina grandiflora is native to southeastern Brazil and, as such, isn't really in our purview since our focus and expertise are on plants native to North America.  If Tibouchina isn't your plant, you might try contacting someone at the The Trial Gardens at UGA to see if they could help you.

 

 

 

More Non-Natives Questions

Problems with non-native navel orange
October 03, 2008 - Hello Green Guru, Question: Why hasn't Navel Orange Tree grown or sprouted new branches? It's 3 years old and is about 5 feet tall and has remained this size. It hasn't grown at all. It only ha...
view the full question and answer

Clearing out non-native Himalayan blackberry
January 25, 2009 - Can you recommend a way to clear an area of Himalayan blackberry? We have cut the canes back but wish to eliminate them completely so that we can replant that area with native plants attractive to wil...
view the full question and answer

What are the differences between Arbutus xalapensis, A. unedo and A. marina
August 29, 2013 - One nursery lists madrone trees as arbutus uneda compacta and arbutus marina. The other lists it as arbutus xalapensis, which is the only name I can find in the data base. There is a very large pric...
view the full question and answer

B1 for transplant shock in non-native bamboo?
January 24, 2009 - I am wondering about the details as I wish to transplant some bamboo. I do not know the actual variety, as I have at least 2 types, but will take a cutting to a high end nursery.Some of this is about ...
view the full question and answer

Plant identification
May 12, 2012 - I don't know if they are native or not, My mom bought some plants at an event at the Dallas Convention Center that all had rocks and little dirt that they sat on. The bases of the plants were large a...
view the full question and answer

Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.