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
3 ratings

Wednesday - November 20, 2013

From: Helena, MT
Region: Rocky Mountain
Topic: Plant Identification
Title: Plant identification in Mojave Desert
Answered by: Nan Hampton

QUESTION:

I need help in identifying a shrub like plant that I found in SW Utah near Beaver Dam, UT (Which is near the Arizona/Nevada border). It is approximately 12 inches in height with profuse stems originating from a crown. The branches lack leaves and rarely branch, remaining straight the entire length and are light yellow/green in color. The flowers are vase shaped, about an 1/8th of an inch long, turned upwards in a raceme. They look like Grape Hyacinths, but pointing upward along the stem. There appears to be three to four stamens that do not protrude from the flower. They were blooming in the northern most part of the Mojave in January through March. Any help you can give is greatly appreciated. Thank you.

ANSWER:

My best guess is Thamnosma montana (Desert rue).  Here are photos and more information from USDA Plants Database, Mojave National Preserve, Anza-Borrego Desert Natural History Association and University of California-Berkeley's CalPhotos.

If this isn't it, here are a couple of other possibilities:

Salazaria mexicana (Bladder sage)  Here are more photos and information from Southwest Environmental Information Network and Northern Arizona Flora.

Streptanthella longirostris (Longbeak streptanthella)  Here are photos and more information from Southwest Colorado Wildflowers and CalPhotos.

Here are links to Mojave Desert Wildflowers Wildflower List, Desert Wildflower from Desert USA and Southwest Colorado Wildflowers arranged by flower color that you can search.

In case none of these is your plant and if you have a photo or photos, please visit our Plant Identification page to find links to several plant identification forums that will accept photos of plants for identification.

 

More Plant Identification Questions

Plant similar to a cattail
June 06, 2012 - I don't know where this plant grows normally, but I am looking for a plant that is similar to a cat tail, but the petals are not feathery, they are red and waxy and the petals are round almost. Plea...
view the full question and answer

Mystery plant in private garden in Hutchinson MN
July 16, 2009 - I recently toured an amazing private garden. While touring the owner called her potted plant with purple clustered flowers something that sounds like 'pinsta'. Do you have any idea what it might ha...
view the full question and answer

Plant identification
June 07, 2010 - There are large trees with brilliant orange flowers around Naples FL. Can you tell me what this is?
view the full question and answer

Identification of gourd plant growing in central California
August 10, 2012 - I am not sure if this flowering plant is native to North America. It is found in dry land grazing fields at about 100 feet in elevation in central California. It is large--2-6 feet across with a sti...
view the full question and answer

Identification of stem from a bouquet
January 02, 2012 - I have a stem with leaves that came in a bouquet May 2011. They are still healthy in a vase of water tho they have no roots, just stem. On the back center of each leaf are protrusions half an inch lon...
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