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

Identification of small plant with white flowers in Baltimore, MD
June 21, 2012 - It's a small plant, has flowers in June, four white petals with large, tall conical center, about no more than an inch in diameter. The leaves are alternating with branched veins. It stays at about 6...
view the full question and answer

Nomenclatural puzzles
March 25, 2008 - Hi Mr. Smarty Plants. I have been looking all day for this information. I am look for a plant that is in the genus Cucumis but not in the family Cucurbitacea. A plant that is in the family Cucurbit...
view the full question and answer

Identification of landscape plants at malls in Waco and Temple
August 20, 2009 - Dear Mr. Smarty, I am trying to identify a plant used in landscaping for several shopping centers within the Waco-Temple areas. It looks to be large mounding grass, but flowers June-July with shaft...
view the full question and answer

Plant identification from New York
August 21, 2014 - I have a sunflower like plant growing mysteriously in our garden. Its leaves are large heart shaped. It is a single stem plant. The base of each branch is a small, orange colored bud looking as if...
view the full question and answer

Wild onions and garlic in Genus Allium
June 25, 2006 - My husband and I found a strange bulb like plant that when broken open it smells and tastes like strong onion or garlic. The heads are at the top of the plant though not at the root base like most wil...
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