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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

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!

Need help with plant identification, visit the plant identification page.

 
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Saturday - May 18, 2013

From: New Boston, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Plant Identification
Title: Unknown blue flower growing in New Boston, TX
Answered by: Nan Hampton

QUESTION:

A light blue wildflower, similar to a cosmos, appeared in one of my beds this spring. I've never grown this flower and would like to identify it. The flower also has similarities to a passion flower but the leaves are entirely different. I've checked your plant ID base and could not locate it.

ANSWER:

Here are some native "blue" flowers that occur in Bowie County that are similar to your description:

Eustoma exaltatum (Catchfly prairie gentian)

Nemastylis geminiflora (Prairie celestials)

Nemophila phacelioides (Baby blue-eyes)

Ruellia caroliniensis (Carolina wild petunia)

Ruellia drummondiana (Drummond's ruellia)

Ruellia nudiflora (Violet ruellia)

Ruellia strepens (Limestone ruellia)

One non-native flower (from southern Europe, north Africa and southwest Asia) that somewhat resembles a passion flower and is a garden favorite is Nigella damascena (Love-in-a-mist).  Here are more photos.

If none of these are the flower in your flowerbed and you taken photographs of it, please visit our Plant Identification page to find links to several plant identification forums that will accept photos of plants for identification.

 

From the Image Gallery


Catchfly prairie gentian
Eustoma exaltatum

Prairie celestials
Nemastylis geminiflora

Texas baby blue eyes
Nemophila phacelioides

Carolina wild petunia
Ruellia caroliniensis

Drummond's ruellia
Ruellia drummondiana

Violet ruellia
Ruellia nudiflora

Limestone ruellia
Ruellia strepens

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