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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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topicquestion
Need to identify Cherry laurel varietyin Bee Caves, TX
March 29, 2016
I recently had cherry laurels installed in my yard for privacy. Unfortunately, the landscaper does not know what type of cherry laurel they are. The tag from the tree says Che-Com which to me might in...
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Tree with blue berries in Los Angeles, CA
March 22, 2016
There's a tree outside my house with somewhat thin and short spiky leaves with blue berries. The berries Some of the berries have a frost look and some are dark blue.
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Identity of fast growing vine in San Francisco
March 20, 2016
Really need to know what kind of vine is growing rapidly in the garden. Can't find out in plant identification: started to grow profusely after rainfall. Grows at rate of 6-8" per day (!). Has ivy-l...
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Care of non-native plant
March 17, 2016
I have a plant that grows about 1' tall, looks sort of like a dracaena. The leaves grow off of a short stem and are yellowish (no green at all) with brilliant slashes of hot pink an red. It is georg...
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Identification of vining plant with red berries in California
January 28, 2016
We found a vining plant next to and growing in our stream with gorgeous purple leaves in the fall after frost and a few sporadic clusters of smooth small red berries with little thorns on the vine. We...
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What are the cone shaped evergreens around Pilot Point, TX?
January 26, 2016
What are the cone shaped evergreens around Pilot Point, Texas called? They are dark green with spiky leaves and rough bark. I have a row planted as a windscreen and want to transplant a couple from a ...
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Wanting to grow a Buckley Oak in Amarillo, TX
January 20, 2016
I live in Amarillo Texas in the Texas Panhandle. I recently became interested in the Buckley Oak and was wondering if it might grow well here and if so, where I might find one that I could purchase a...
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Is Goldenball leadtree really evergreen, as we state?
January 17, 2016
Please would you confirm that Goldenball leadtree Leucaena retusa is evergreen as stated on this website and not deciduous as stated by Wasowski in Native Texas Plants? Thanks
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ID for Caribbean mystery plants.
January 13, 2016
I AM TRYING TO FIND THE COMMON NAME FOR TWO FLOWERS I TOOK PICTURES OF ON A CARIBBEAN CRUISE. I TOOK ONE IN HONDURAS AND ONE IN GRAND CAYMAN. DO YOU HAVE ANY IDEA WHERE I CAN GO TO TO GET HELP IN ID...
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What is the bush that has very bright red berries in the fall/winter and no leaves?
December 27, 2015
What is the name of the bush that has very bright red berries in the fall/winter and no leaves? I am familiar with amour honeysuckle, and I'm sure that it is not that.
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Why do Turk's cap plants have such a variable growth habit?
December 10, 2015
In visiting the Family Garden at the Lady Bird Wildflower Center yesterday (10-21-15,) I admired a large bunch of Turks Cap that had more blooms than I had ever seen on Turks Cap, and I've loved that...
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ID for two flowers blooming in November in Buda TX
November 29, 2015
two different plants growing in my wild area. 1. springs of tiny yellow flowers atop almost foot tall woody stem. 2. Clump of tiny near white bud like flowers. clump about 6 to 8 inches across on ...
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Website with map showing occurence of species
November 25, 2015
Hello and thank you so much for this amazing site and all the information you provide. Recently after reading about some really neat species on here I ended up surfing the net for pictures and somehow...
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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...
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Identification of Bidens aristosa (Tickseed sunflower) in Texas
November 20, 2015
I think the ID of the plant I submitted a description of yesterday is Tickseed Sunflower (Bidens aristosa). Thanks.
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Spriranthes sp. blooming on rocky hilltop
November 13, 2015
I am not sure if my previous question went thru, so I am submitting it again. How unusual is it to find a few blooming specimens of Spiranthes sp. on a rocky hilltop west of Loop 360 near Bee Caves R...
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Identity of evergreen tree at Barton Springs in Austin TX
October 11, 2015
I am trying to identify an evergreen tree at Barton Springs in Austin. It is growing on the south lawn overlooking the pool. It has needles arranged in a fan like shape and makes a kind of crown-shape...
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How to tell Monarda citriodora from Monarda punctata.
September 18, 2015
Hello! I'm wondering if you could clarify the differences between Monarda citriodora and Monarda punctata. Perhaps they do a lot of hybridizing, but I have plenty of conflicting info on...
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Tree with light-colored bark, thorns and long white clumps of flowers
August 18, 2015
I bought a tree at the LBJWC plant sale a couple years ago but lost the name of the tree. I'm finally ready to plant it in the ground and would like to learn more about what its needs are. Can you ...
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Identity of tree in South Carolina
August 18, 2015
I don't know if this is native as I'm new to South Carolina. This is a tree about 40' tall. The leaves are trilobal, 10" to a foot across/long and are trilobal, not glossy and have big veins. T...
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Identification of flower in book
August 12, 2015
Hi, I make paper flowers and I came across this flower in my book under the name camellia. But I am sure it is not. I tried finding out similar flowers but i am lost as I don't know if such a flower ...
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Plant Identification
August 07, 2015
I live in southeastern Michigan. I found a plant growing in the backyard that caught my eye. I chalked it off as a weed, but it's unique. It is shaped like a bushing type plant, has red stem, each cl...
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Identification of vining shrub near Fort Worth
August 07, 2015
Please let me know what this plant might be. Saw it one county west of Ft. Worth, in a wooded area, and I've never seen this in this region before. The form is a vining shrub. Leaves are heart-sh...
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Bee-friendly bush with small yellow flowers in Minnesota
August 04, 2015
I was up north in Minnesota and saw a bee friendly bush with small yellow flowers clustered so they looked like small (4"-6") flocked Christmas trees. Any ideas? Thanks!
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Identity of ball-shaped purple flower in Connecticut
July 13, 2015
I am trying to identify a ball shaped purple/light purple flower with opposite leaves that look fern like. It has been in bloom since late May or early June. I have found it growing with what appear...
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Native orchids in Bowie and Harris Counties
July 02, 2015
Hi Mr. Smarty Plants, I was wondering what types of orchids are native to Bowie County and Harris County.
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Horsemint for Connecticut
July 01, 2015
Will horsemint grow in Connecticut?
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Difference between Oxalis debilis and Oxalis violacea
June 22, 2015
There are two species of pink oxalis reported to grow here in Jefferson County, Oxalis debilis (introduced) and O. violacea (native). How can I positively identify which one I have growing in my yard?
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Vine with 5 pointed deep lobed leaves and small white flowers
June 21, 2015
I recently happened upon a very peculiar vine. It has 5 pointed very deep lobed leaves, that are semi hairy on both the top and bottom with small white flowers that emerge from the same part of the st...
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Invasive vine with yellow flowers in Austin
June 21, 2015
What is the invasive vine in Austin that has wire like stems and small leaves. It just blossomed huge yellow flowers this spring. It climbs cliff, trees, bldgs., etc.
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Identification of plant with speckled green leaf
June 21, 2015
I have a purple (or brown) speckled green leaf plant with tiny yellow daisy-like flowers. The leaf is fuzzy looking on the edge. Self seeds freely in my shady garden.
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Identity of plant friend bought at plant sale
June 20, 2015
Can you Please Identify this plant? A friend had bought it at a plant sale and she thinks it was called a money tree. I am curios as to what it really is because it has jagged edges on the leaves and ...
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Identity of fleshy three-leaved vine in Central Texas
June 20, 2015
I have a 3 leaved evergreen vine, that I assume is a central Texas native, growing in my yard in a non irrigated mostly shady spot. It has a strong odor when touched and looks and feels like a succule...
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A blue-eyed grass with salmon-colored blooms?
June 16, 2015
Has anyone heard of a blue-eyed grass variety that has salmon-colored blooms? I have a photo if needed.
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Identity of cinnamon-scented bush from Pennsylvania
May 23, 2015
I had a "bush" in PA that the woman who sold it to me called a cinnamon bush. It had long branches with large (approx 5" long and 3" wide) dark green leaves attached evenly along each side of the...
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Identification of white flowering bush with lovely scent
May 17, 2015
Please identify the sweet smelling white flowering bush/tree blooming now,May, in western Massachusetts. The flowers are tiny 4(?) petals in small clusters. The scent is wonderful.
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Identity of grass-like plant with white or cream flowers in The Woodlands, TX?
May 16, 2015
What is the name of the tall grass-like plant with small white or cream flowers that is planted in most esplanades in The Woodlands, TX.?
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Bleeding Heart-Like Plant Identification in PA
May 09, 2015
Hi Mr. Smarty Plants. We have a plant that looks almost like the bleeding heart, as in the way the bell shaped (not heart) white flowers hang downward on the stem. However, the leaves are broader and...
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Identity of vining plants in yard in Texas
May 08, 2015
I have vining plants in my back-yard, here when I bought the house, that, from what I have been able to find on-line, look like poison sumac, however, I know they are not. Leaf shape, color, and appe...
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Orange-flowered bush on Wildflower Center grounds
April 19, 2015
What is the orange colored bush like Sphaeralcea blooming right now. It is in one of the planted gardens. I could find no name plate.
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Identification of ivy-like plant with large purplish leaves.
March 27, 2015
Can you ID this ivy-like growing plant with a big purplish elephant ear type leaf and a big green stem pouch?
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Identification of mystery tree in Huntington Beach, CA
March 25, 2015
Have a "tree" that has grown from about 18" tall to about 10' tall in a little over a years time. It has a central trunk that is about 3/4" in diameter at it's largest. It has short thin branch...
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Identification of mystery plant in yard in El Paso, Texas
March 24, 2015
I have a plant bed in my yard with mostly shade, in the winter it looked like 10-15 sticks about 2-3 ft tall coming from the ground. Now early March there are green and maroon leaves only growing at t...
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Trees with white blossoms in Crockett, Texas
March 21, 2015
What are the trees that are blooming just East of Crockett Texas (off of Hwy 21) right now - fairly large trees - multitude of white blooms - almost like a wild plum or pear, but tree seems too large?...
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Inquiry about the Arizona Cypress trees in the Family Garden
March 20, 2015
Dear Mr. Smarty Plants, I recently visited The Wildflower Center and enjoyed seeing several features that were new since my last visit two years ago. In the Family Garden areas I saw several beautifu...
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Observation of Kalmia angustifolia in George Washington National Forest in Virginia
March 19, 2015
On Feb. 7th, 2015 I observed a variety Kalmia on the crest of a ridge, recently burned off, in the George Washington National Forest. I think it may be sheep laurel (Kalmia angustiflora), which coloni...
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Identity of wild plum in Childress County, Texas
March 16, 2015
I have a Wild Plum follow up question. My wife grew up around the Childress TX area. She remembers going around the creeks and gathering Wild Plums for her mother as a child. Would you have any ide...
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Indentification of yellow four-petaled plant in Sonoma County CA
March 09, 2015
Yellow four-petaled plant - low to the ground. Along the coast of CA in Sonoma County (near Bodega Bay) Might be Frying Pan but I can't find a decent description or the botanical name to look it up...
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Identiication of a flower in Valentine's Day Bouquet
March 05, 2015
I bought a Valentine's Day bouquet for my wife and one of the flowers just won't quit (with some TLC, the lillies lasted 10 days). May I send a photo of the flower in question? I'd love to grow i...
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Identification of thorny bush
February 26, 2015
We found a small thorny like bush in our hay field near the fence line yesterday. It has thorns and each thorn has new nodes along the thorn. it is a frosted like white at this time. It is early febru...
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Picture of Castilleja purpurea
February 08, 2015
Can you tell me what the seedling for Castilleja purpurea looks like? Or do you have a picture?
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Plant ID–maybe a lupine?
February 02, 2015
We have a strange plant growing in our flowerbed that we did not knowingly plant. It sprang up last summer and has continued to grow throughout the winter in spite of several freezes. We live just eas...
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Identification of seedlings
December 20, 2014
So..last spring I spread out a bag of random Texas wildflower seed I bought at Home Depot. Bautiful things happened. Since that time I've collected seeds while out camping etc and just been chunking ...
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Are Brown-eyed susans and Black-eyed susans the same species?
December 02, 2014
Are Brown eyed Susans the same as the Black-eyed Susan? I've read that they are both common names for the same plant, but the flower looks slightly different in different regions. Thank you.
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Identity of blue sage-like plant blooming in September in Lubbock TX
November 07, 2014
This has bothered me for years. It looks like a miniature version of Salvia azure. About a foot talk with multiple stems. Flowering in September. Grows on the hillsides overlooking Buddy Holly Lak...
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Bermuda, not the only option in Memphis
November 04, 2014
I'm building an energy efficient home in Memphis and want to extend that strategy to the landscaping. I'd like to plant native grasses, but this lot is surrounded by lots sodded with Bermuda grass....
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Plant ID in Arkansas
October 29, 2014
Harrison, Ark I borrowed pix, hope they can be seen. Fast growing, 5' popped up in area- it screams abutilon to me, but the flower doesnt. Waited til Sept to bloom. Nowhere for pic. Green/ yellow tub...
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Identification of a vine with red berries in Weatherford, Texas
October 17, 2014
I have found a vine with red berries that I would appreciate an ID for. How can I send you a photo or two of it?
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Houseplant identification
October 15, 2014
Had a houseplant with leaves that were green on the top and purplish on the bottom. The leaves were velvety to the touch. Would like to know what it was.
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Where do snake herb and skeleton-leaf goldeneye get their names?
October 05, 2014
Dear Mr. Smarty Plants, Where does snake herb, and skeleton leaf goldeneye get their names from? Thank you.
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What is the plant called wingspan?
September 21, 2014
I have a lot of environmental allergies and saw a positive result for "wingspan" yet I cannot find ANY information online about that particular plant. I was told it's "tumbleweed" by the medical ...
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Plant identification
September 20, 2014
I was recently visiting Texas and kept seeing a particular plant in drainage bottoms and wetland areas (note these areas at the time of my visit were very dry). I was hoping you might be able to help...
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Shrub with thorns, black fruit and citrus fragrance in Michigan
September 19, 2014
I'm not sure that my plant is a native, but I'm hoping to find some answer. There is a small patch of roadside shrubs on my property which I've been unable to identify. They have simple opposite ...
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Identity of vine growing in Naples Florida
September 15, 2014
I live on country/residential property outside of Naples, Florida. This year I have had dozens of seedlings of some type of vine popping up all over. I have posted on a couple plant blogs looking for ...
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Difference between invasive Chinese and Japanese wisterias and native wisteria
September 12, 2014
Dear Mr or Ms Smarty Plants, Is there any way I can tell for sure if my wisteria is native? I bought it at a place when it was in bloom that sold a lot of native plants. I Would like to know for sure...
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Is Tagetes lemmonii (Copper Canyon Daisy) native to the Southwest?
September 01, 2014
Due to the continued drought I have resolved to only use native plants in my garden. Copper canyon daisy is be recommended more often at nurseries. The NPSOT lists it a native of Arizona, yet I cann...
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Seed pod of Proboscidea louisianica (Deveil's claw) in New Mexico
August 30, 2014
I found the most amazing seed pods of the devil's claw right here in Albuquerque. I thought it was a wood skeleton of a pterodactyl (flying dinosaur, I believe), but heard it's a devil's claw. Ok...
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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...
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Identification of tree with outrageous thorns
August 10, 2014
Can you identify this tree? It has these outrageous thorns on its trunk. They are in clusters and are anywhere from 1" long to 4" long or so.
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Flowering vine with yellow flowers in Nevada
August 10, 2014
A flowering vine started growing in our Henderson back yard about 2 months ago. It has variegated green leaves & yellow flowers. We decided not to pull it out & now it's spreading. I've looked on v...
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Identification of bush/vine with purple berries
August 09, 2014
I was clearing fence line and came across this plant it looks like a Bush but underneath grows like a vine it has long broad leaves that reminded me of Polk salad but it grows berry clusters the berri...
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Tree that looks like cedar elm but with smooth bark
August 09, 2014
What tree looks like a cedar elm, but has smooth bark?
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Plant identification
August 07, 2014
there is a plant in our yard...I believe it to be in the seed phase..it has 3 or 5 pointed leaves topped with a green fuzzy ball then another set of leaves and a green fuzzy ball..this is continued a...
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Plant identification
August 06, 2014
I have a plant my kids got me, but I cant figure out what it is. It has long thick waxy leaves and instead of flowers the leaves at the top turn white. Do you know what it is?
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Plant identification of orange-flowered plant with portulaca-like leaves
August 02, 2014
As a last resort, I'm asking you. The plant identification page has not been helpful. Recently moved to Breckenridge, Texas and found several plants with 5 petaled orange flowers in the pasture. L...
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The most common wildflower in the United States
July 29, 2014
What is the most common wildflower in the United States?
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Plant identification
July 29, 2014
I have a plant in my yard about 3' high, narrow pointy smooth leaves covered with small berries that are turning purple. What is this? a weed? should I eliminate it from my xeriscape garden or wel...
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Identification of vine with feathery leaves and deep pink flowers
July 28, 2014
I have growing up my porch what appears to be a vine with feathery leaves and small deep pink flowers. There is no water sources near by. Can you tell me what it is?
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Larkspur with pink and white flowers
July 26, 2014
Hi - I have been photographing larkspurs (mainly D. bicolor) in Montana for years now and I found one that I can't identify. The leaves and flower structure all appear to be D. bicolor, but the flow...
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Ripe fruit of Melothria pendula (Guadaloupe cucumber)
July 22, 2014
I see the pictures of the guadualupe cucumber plant. The fruit is still green. When it matures does it look like a small tomato? I have noticed the vine when the fruit is ripe. This is in McLennan C...
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Tall plant with bell-shaped upside-down white flowers
July 18, 2014
2 tall plants grew outside my suburban New York house in June, blossomed late June. They looked like giant asparagus stalks, and the flowers were white, bell shaped, upside down, look like fairy skirt...
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Why is Mentzelia oligosperma called chickenthief?
July 15, 2014
Could you tell me why Mentzelia oligosperma is sometimes called chickenthief?
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Plant identification
July 10, 2014
I am trying to identify a wildflower that has popped up after a big rain. It is under a foot tall---blooms a yellow bloom in the evenings. It has long narrow leaves sort of like a rosemary. It grows f...
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Identity of vine with orangish flowers
July 09, 2014
I am looking to ID what I believe is a vine growing plant that blooms orangish flowers. I have pictures of the plant, and have attempted to use multiple plant ID websites. But have been unsuccessful. ...
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Identification of plant with white spike blooms and red berries
July 06, 2014
I just came back from a hike in Dallas and found large areas where a lanceolate- to acuminate- leafed herb was blooming spikes of white, 4 petal flowers that quickly turn to bright red berries, someti...
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How to solve a search problem on the Native Plant Database!
July 01, 2014
When I use the LBJ Wildflower Center's Plant Identification Guide, it ALWAYS comes up with no results. It also ALWAYS comes up with Family: Acanthaceae. Could this be why NO question EVERY produces A...
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Native flowers versus non-natives
June 30, 2014
Native flowers versus non-natives. What guidelines do use for identification. I come across flowers in different habitats and can't identify them as natives. Also, how do you attach a image to a ...
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Identification of possible toxic plant in Austin, TX
June 20, 2014
When we hike with our dogs along Turkey Creek in Austin, they seem to make a bee line to a small green leafy plant when they find it along the trail and eat a few leaves of it. We assume it's not dan...
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Differences between Desmodium and Lespedezda
June 19, 2014
i am trying to determine the difference between lespedeza and desmodium in my full sun wildflower and tall grasses meadow. There appear to be a number of different types of these plants, and they are...
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Key for Verbesina virginica
June 16, 2014
Are the stems of Verbesina virginica hairy? My in-laws have what I believe is Verbesina virginica (blooms in September here in VA) and another wild flower that blooms before it and is yellow. I'd l...
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Identification of a vine in Tennessee
June 14, 2014
I have a beautiful vine with clusters approximately 70 feet All the way up a tree in a heavily wooded area. It seems to be evergreen or semi- evergreen. Can you help identify?
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Plant identification
June 12, 2014
We live in Magnolia TX and have a shrub we can't identify. It's evergreen and has waxy leaves with a serrated edge that are about an inch in length. They have pink flowers and they grow to ab...
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Need to identify hemp-like plant in Bastrop, TX.
June 09, 2014
What is the large stalky, hemp-like plant that populates our creek bottoms and ditches here in Central Texas? It has large 5-6 in. lobed leaves, and a fibrous central stalk that gets up to 7 ft tall. ...
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Plant ID from San Marcos TX
June 07, 2014
My dogs love to eat the leaves of a certain little orange wildflower. It might be Wedelia or Texas creeping oxeye. Have you ever heard of this?
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Giant Thistle-Like Plant from Elgin, TX
June 01, 2014
I have a giant thistle like plant in my field we have been unable to identify. It looks like a milk thistle but it is short..only about a foot tall..stocky...and the flowers are giant..about 6 to 8 i...
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Plant ID from Richardson TX
May 24, 2014
Need to send a pic for id.
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Unidentified stalk, possibly manfreda, from San Marcos TX
May 23, 2014
I had a very weird stalk pop up in my yard in San Marcos TX this month (May 2014) It bloomed very quickly and appears to be a manfreda but there is no rosette, or leaves of any kind - just the thick o...
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Non-native astilbe resemblance to non-native poisonous castor bean from Tomslake BC
May 21, 2014
I have a plant that looks like a castor bean but it has flowers like a Younique Silvery Pink Astilbe. Need to id because castor bean is poisonous. This plant grows up to 5 feet in height. Thank you !
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Identification of tree with round purple leaves
May 14, 2014
What is tne name of the purple leaf tree whose leaves are spherical? Maybe 1 to 2" in diameter? A neighbor who has moved now, had one but cut it down before i could find out or rescue it. It wasnt ...
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Plant Identification
May 13, 2014
I am trying to identify a plant. The leaves looks like cannabis, (I know its not) its has red flowers and grows a green seed pod that turns yellow and falls off. It usually contains 3 or 4 seeds in th...
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