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?

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
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

Tuesday - April 30, 2013

From: Huntsville, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Plant Identification
Title: Identification of three-petaled lilac colored flower in Texas
Answered by: Nan Hampton

QUESTION:

I found a single bloom. It has three petals, lilac colored with white spots toward the center with purple dots. The stamens are a greenish color. Bloom has an iris appearance. Can't find it in my Texas Wildflowers book by Campbell and Lynn Loughmiller. Yesterday I discovered Frog Fruit along the roadside. It too isn't in their book. Can you identify the lilac flower?

ANSWER:

From your description it sounds as if you found Herbertia lahue (Prairie nymph) or the bluer variety,  Herbertia lahue ssp. caerulea (Prairie nymph).  Here are photos from Southeastern Flora.  You are right that it isn't in Campbell and Lynn Loughmiller's 1984 book, Texas Wildflowers: A Field Guide or in the 2006 edition with revisions by Damon Waitt.

Another possibility is Alophia drummondii (Propeller flower).  This wildflower is in the Loughmiller's book—in the 2006 revised edition on page 135 and in the earlier edition on page 108.

 

From the Image Gallery


Prairie nymph
Herbertia lahue

Prairie nymph
Herbertia lahue

Prairie nymph
Herbertia lahue

Propeller flower
Alophia drummondii

Propeller flower
Alophia drummondii

More Plant Identification Questions

Origin of name Bluedicks (Dichelostemma capitatum)
March 21, 2008 - Why are Blue Dicks called that? I do a weekly wildflower update on the radio and I don't know the answer!
view the full question and answer

Identity of plant with purple flower and tomato-like fruit
April 24, 2012 - Along the Lake Erie shoreline in Buffalo there is a summer blooming plant with a purple flower and hard flattened tomato like fruit, diameter of a quarter. It has pretty small green leaves with fine ...
view the full question and answer

Plant identification
August 28, 2010 - I have a very distinctive vine accompanying morning glory in invading my beds - it is Prickly! (on the vine, underside of leaves, leaf stems). The leaf is not arrowhead, but a triangle; I've not seen...
view the full question and answer

Identification of vine with large leaves and blue-black berries
January 15, 2013 - I visited a creek with a limestone seep spring that supplies it. Around the creek is growing some kind plant that has leaves that are very similar to a briar, or snailseed. However, the leaves of the ...
view the full question and answer

Difference between invasive Chinese and Japanese wisterias and native wisteria
September 12, 2014 - Dear Mr or Ms Smarty Plants, Is there any way I can tell for sure if my wisteria is native? I bought it at a place when it was in bloom that sold a lot of native plants. I Would like to know for sure...
view the full question and answer

Smarty Plants's Facebook profile Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.

Mr. Smarty Plants wants you to be his Facebook friend. Click the Facebook icon to add yourself to Mr. Smarty Plants list of friends.
E-NEWSLETTER | BECOME A MEMBER | DONATE NOW | MEDIA | SITEMAP
© 2014 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center