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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 - June 01, 2009

From: Oologah, OK
Region: Southwest
Topic: Plant Identification
Title: Plant identification
Answered by: Nan Hampton

QUESTION:

I'm trying to identify a bush/shrub that is approx. 6 ft. with leaves like an azalea but has orange hot air balloon shaped balls that turn to small orange flowers. Blooming now in May. Dies back each year and grows to be about 15' or larger. No scent, but balls are unusual and I've only seen 2. Growing in N.E. Oklahoma and would like to find how to grow. Thank You.

ANSWER:

Mr. Smarty Plants hasn't found any native plant with that description.  The only plant that comes to mind that somewhat fits that description is Punica granatum (pomegranate), a native of Asia.  Here are more photos.  They are often used as a landscape plant and also cultivated for their fruit.  Here is more information. If this isn't the plant you are looking for, I am afraid we are going to need photos to identify it.  Please visit Mr. Smarty Plants' Plant Identification page to find the instructions for submitting photos.

 

 

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