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?


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

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


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.


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

More Plant Identification Questions

Houseplant identification.
February 03, 2011 - Please help me identify a houseplant that flowers a yellow flower at the base of plant. Its leaves are narrow, pointed and green on the topside and burgundy with small hairs on the underside of the l...
view the full question and answer

Identification of thorny vine in Michigan
May 21, 2013 - We have a species growing around our rural SW Michigan property that I'm trying to identify: I either see stalks up to 3 ft tall, or much longer vines if they find anchor. The most notable characte...
view the full question and answer

Identity of purple flower with flowers similar to witch hazel
August 16, 2012 - Found along woods roads. Purple flower about 1 - 2 ft. in height. Central stem rises from a ground level leaf whorl of five leaves from 4 to 7 inches long and 2 to 3 inches at their widest point. C...
view the full question and answer

Identification of Verbesina occidentalis (Yellow crownbeard) in Burnet County TX
November 23, 2015 - Looked up (small) yellow crownbeard..yellow, no description or pic. Csn you tell me if this is what is in this pic? THX! Can't insert a pic to say y/n. 😟it's in Burnet, Co..SE of Marble Fal...
view the full question and answer

Identification of an Australian tree.
November 29, 2007 - i have a tree i cant seem to find any info on, the tree has large almost heart shaped leaves with pinkish veins running through them, its not shiney anywhere, sort of a mat finish,the edges of the lea...
view the full question and answer

Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.
© 2015 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center