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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

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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Saturday - May 03, 2014

From: Austin, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Plant Identification
Title: Plant ID for that looks like lemon verbena
Answered by: Nan Hampton

QUESTION:

I have a weed that looks a bit like Lemon Verbena with tiny purple flowers sprouting again this spring in my pasture. It seems to like sandy, acidy sunny areas and smells nice when you even brush up against it. Is it native, or maybe some escapee from a local herb garden?

ANSWER:

There is one plant that has tiny purple flowers that has a nice fragrance when you brush or crush it and it has been very common in the trail areas on the Wildflower Center site.  This is Hedeoma acinoides (Slender false pennyroyal).  Here are more photos from the Archive of Central Texas Plants from School of Biological Sciences, University of Texas.  Here is a little information about it that I found on the Native Plant Society of Texas (NPSOT) Yahoo groups page.  I suppose it does look a little like Aloysia triphylla [syn. = Verbena citriodora, Lippia triphylla, Lippia ctriodora] (Lemon verbena).  If this isn't your plant and you have a photo (or photos) of it, please visit our Plant Identification page where you find links to several plant identification forums that will accept photos of plants for identification.

 

From the Image Gallery


Slender false pennyroyal
Hedeoma acinoides

Slender false pennyroyal
Hedeoma acinoides

Slender false pennyroyal
Hedeoma acinoides

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