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
Not Yet Rated

Saturday - June 14, 2008

From: Elizabeth, CO
Region: Rocky Mountain
Topic: General Botany
Title: Least common flower color
Answered by: Barbara Medford and Joe Marcus

QUESTION:

What is the least common flower color in the world?

ANSWER:

Silver, maybe? Black? Turquoise? It depends on how narrowly you want to define the term. See this previous answer on most common color in which one of our Mr. Smarty Plants team speculates on how you would narrow down which color is which, and points out that there is no answer to that question because no one has surveyed the whole world and catalogued all the colors by frequency of appearance. It's on our to-do list, but we may not get to it this year.

We also wish to submit that there is a color that is no color, because these plants do not bloom. They do not need colored flowers to attract pollinators because they do not reproduce that way. Some examples of that type of plant are:

Ferns - reproducing by spores, small brown spots on the underside of the fern leaf. From backyardnature.net Backyard Ferns. From our database Adiantum capillus-veneris (common maidenhair)

Horsetail - From our own Native Plant Database, Equisetum hyemale (scouringrush horsetail)

Conifers - Backyardnature.net Conifers. Also from our database: Taxodium distichum (bald cypress)

So, have we wandered about enough to divert you from the fact that we can't answer your question? It's hard for us to admit this, but it does happen. Perhaps you would like to take on the cataloguing of all the earth's flower colors, and then we'll know the answer.


Equisetum hyemale

Taxodium distichum

Adiantum capillus-veneris

 


 

More General Botany Questions

Where do plants grow?
June 23, 2007 - Where do plants grow?
view the full question and answer

Are Native Cultivars As Beneficial to Wildlife?
September 02, 2015 - I am working on adding more native plants to my small acreage. I would like to know if using a selection or cultivar of a native species is as likely to have wildlife benefits as using a randomly prop...
view the full question and answer

Does Nolina lindheimeriana have separate male and female plants
June 30, 2013 - RE: NOLINA LINDHEIMERIANA You show several pictures, with flowers & with seed pods. I have one plant that has only flowers and one that has only seed pods. Are they male and female? I don't see ...
view the full question and answer

Appearance of plants
April 14, 2009 - What is plants appearance?
view the full question and answer

Can Condalia hookeri (Brasil or Bluewood condalia) self-pollinate?
May 07, 2014 - Good morning Mr. SP, I see from your description of Condalia hookeri that this species has bisexual flowers. Do you know if it is self-incompatible?
view the full question and answer

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