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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 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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Thursday - February 20, 2014

From: Chicago, IL
Region: Midwest
Topic: Non-Natives, Plant Identification
Title: Plant identification
Answered by: Nan Hampton

QUESTION:

I'm not sure of county of origin. It was given to me by someone I no longer have contact with. When I initially received it I thought it was just a small potted vine of some type. I've had it a year and now it is flowering. It has thick vines with large sturdy leaves along the vine pointing upwards towards the tip of the vine. Protruding from the last set of leaves at end of the vine are thin stalks with blooming clusters of tiny four petal orange flowers. Photo available

ANSWER:

Our focus and expertise are with plants native to North America and I think that probably your plant is not native.  From your description, however, one non-native plant comes to my mind—an orange kalanchoe.  There are many species of kalanchoe and most originate in Africa or Asia.  One species, Kalanchoe blossfeldiana, originates in Madagascar and can have white, yellow, scarlet, pink, orange or salmon colored flowers.  We don't accept photos for identification; but, if this isn't your plant, you can visit our Plant Identification page where you will find links to several plant identification forums that do accept photos of plants for identification.

 

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