Contact Us Host an Event Volunteer Join

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

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.

 
rate this answer
1 rating

Friday - March 28, 2014

From: Benjamin, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Herbs/Forbs, Shrubs, Wildflowers
Title: What is the name of the Texas Wildflower that smells like grape koolaid?
Answered by: Jimmy Mills

QUESTION:

Can you tell me the name of the Texas wildflower that smells like grape koolaid? I live in north west Texas and every spring, the low growing purple flowers line spots along the roadside. It's a joy to roll down the windows and smell the sweet aroma!

ANSWER:

When Mr. Smarty Plants hears of a plant that smells like grape Kool aid, his first thought is Texas Mountain Laurel Sophora secundiflora (Texas mountain laurel) . The Mountain Laurel grows as a tree or shrub, so it doesn’t sound like the plant you are smelling.  Also, the USDA Plants Profile indicates that it doesn’t occur in Knox County.

This link to Pinterist has a list of at least a dozen.grape scented plants (I didn't realize there were that many). Based on your description, eg low growing along the roadside, I think, from that group of plants, Slimpod milk-vetch might be a possible choice. Astragulus leptocarpus does not occur in Knox County, but there are other species of Astragalus  that do occur in the area.

    Astragulus racemosus 

   Astragalus lindheimeri 

   Astragalus nutallianus

For some help closer to home, you might contact your nearest chapter of the  Native Plant Society of Texas (NPSOT) which is located in Graham, Tx. Someone in that group should be able to tell you the name of your fragrant plant.

 

From the Image Gallery


Cream milkvetch
Astragalus racemosus

Lindheimer's milkvetch
Astragalus lindheimeri

Nuttall's milkvetch
Astragalus nuttallianus

More Herbs/Forbs Questions

Speed of growth on plants from Plant Sale from Austin
April 28, 2012 - Hello, I recently attended the native plant sale and bought several plants for a sunny curbside bed in central Austin. Due to financial constraints I stuck with the 3 inch varieties so I could buy 3 ...
view the full question and answer

Poppies for a wedding in August from Highlands Ranch CO
February 04, 2013 - Are poppies available to buy for weddings in August in Colorado?
view the full question and answer

Plants for pool area in Florida
May 09, 2008 - My husband and I have a pool with 4 planters and are looking for plants that we can put into our screened in pool area. We live in Central Florida and looking for ideas of plants that are slow growin...
view the full question and answer

Butterfly and Pollinator Plants for Indianapolis Garden
June 23, 2015 - I live in Indianapolis, IN and would like to have a native garden. I'd be especially interested in plants that help butterflies and bumble bees. There's a fairly dry area on the west side of the hou...
view the full question and answer

Wildflower Center work on non-native, invasive Bastard Cabbage from Austin
March 20, 2014 - Still have cabbage weeds that infiltrated Austin awhile back. How did Wildflower Center resolve it?
view the full question and answer

Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.