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 - 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 old plant called pinks
February 28, 2008 - For years my mother had a pretty pink flower in her yard. It was in a little cluster of green leaf like bush. She just called them pinks. They would close in the sun and open in the morning or afte...
view the full question and answer

Plant ID from San Anselmo CA
June 12, 2012 - I have a spreading ground cover that no one has been able to ID in years of searching. I have taken photos of flower and foliage. I want to ID to try to improve site conditions and increase covera...
view the full question and answer

Identification of vine in New York
May 15, 2012 - I have a flowering vine that grows against my home and I'm not sure what it is, but it's beautiful with a delicate scent. The flowers look like clusters of mini purple pea pods hanging downward befo...
view the full question and answer

Report on object glowing in tree in New Hampshire
August 04, 2013 - Hello again Mr Smartpants. I commented about a purple glow coming from a tree in previous comments. Since then they have multiplied and are spreading to different trees. We believe we may have it narr...
view the full question and answer

Identification of Sagittaria-like plant with purple flowers
July 21, 2011 - I have collected a wetland plant that I can't seem to identify. Its an emergent plant collected along with a species of sagittaria. Very similar in leaf structure to an sagittaria or alisima, but i...
view the full question and answer

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