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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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Monday - March 31, 2008

From: Weir, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Plant Identification
Title: Identification of Spaeralcea sp. Globe Mallow
Answered by: Barbara Medford and Joe Marcus

QUESTION:

Let's do it again....my computer had some "issues" and I lost your answer.... I purchased a mallow from the WFC about two years ago...I was told at the time they had not yet identified the plant...it is aproximtely 2 1/2 feet tall, has grey/sliver foilage with very bright orange flowers that have a yellow center. The leaf is not quite 2" with wavy margin. The plant is in full bloom right now and is stunning.

ANSWER:

Sorry our first answer went astray. Here is the previous answer for you to read. We have since discussed this and can give you a little more accurate information. It may be S. lindheimeri but probably is not. Some very highly qualified experts in Sphaeralceas have been consulted, and they have conflicting ideas on what it is. The plant remains officially unidentified to species. We keep it in our collection because we know exactly where it came from (it was collected by a staff member) and because it is so gorgeous. For the time being, it will simply have to be identified as Sphaeralcea sp., Globe Mallow.
 

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