Host an Event Volunteer Join Tickets

Support the plant database you love!

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

Monday - August 04, 2008

From: Las Vegas, NV
Region: Southwest
Topic: Plant Identification
Title: Identifcation of fragrant, white camellia-like flower
Answered by: Nan Hampton

QUESTION:

My friend describes a beautiful, unusual smelling flower. It was a white camellia-like bloom, but was not a camellia. It was flowering in June or July in the Alabama and Mississippi region. It had an unusual fragrance: sweet, like diluted plumeria, yet it almost smelled burnt. Can you help me name the flower with this unusual fragrance?

ANSWER:

It could well be a cultivated plant and not a native one, in which case, I'm afraid Mr. Smarty Plants isn't likely to know what it is. Here is the best possibility for native plants:

Gordonia lasianthus (loblolly bay)

Also, there are two native camellias:

Stewartia malacodendron (silky camellia)

Stewartia ovata (mountain camellia)

If none of these look like the plant your friend described, please send us photos. Please visit the Ask Mr. Smarty Plants page to read the instructions on submitting photos for identification.


Gordonia lasianthus

Stewartia malacodendron

Stewartia ovata

 

 

More Plant Identification Questions

Moonnflower native to North America
June 30, 2008 - Is the plant called moon flower a native plant to North America?
view the full question and answer

Identity of vine in New York
September 30, 2013 - Hey there. I've recently found a "Wild Cucumber" vine in my backyard, which has been taking over our electric fence. Now I've stumbled across another very similar vine. They fruits are clustere...
view the full question and answer

Identification of plant with small lilac flowers in Laredo
May 14, 2013 - Need help identifying the following: small lilac flowers in a cluster with seed pods, unpleasant scent which can be up to 3 feet tall ..wild flower or weed? am interested if it attracts hummingbirds...
view the full question and answer

Plant identification
June 27, 2011 - I have a plant my Dad had found years ago. Last of April a stem with bulb shaped bottom. May 6-stem opened and folded back exposing spotted inside of leaf. Bottom had yellow pollen? and green stem 2+ ...
view the full question and answer

Identity of yellow-flowered plant with stickers
November 06, 2012 - I have yellow flowered plant taking over my lawn. I used weed killers last year and it has spread this year and still spreading. It has small burs (not as hard as a regular sticker bur but will stic...
view the full question and answer

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