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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!

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Saturday - April 13, 2013

From: Oklahoma City, OK
Region: Southwest
Topic: Non-Natives, Plant Identification
Title: Identification of non-native Grape Hyacinth
Answered by: Nan Hampton

QUESTION:

Mr Smarty Plants, can you tell me please, what is the name of the flower in the attached link? I see numerous references to it as blue bells or bluebells, but when I check the USDA Plants database, no plant with that common name matches the linked photo.

ANSWER:

The plant you are talking about is also called "Grape Hyacinth".  The genus name is Muscari and there are various species of this genus and two other genera, Leopoldia and Pseudomuscari that have flowers that are similar.  It is not native to North America (our area of expertise) but is often seen as a garden ornamental here.  They are native to the area near the Mediterranean Sea and in Asia.  You can read more about them on the Pacific Bulb Society webpage.

 

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