Rent Shop 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

Monday - July 11, 2005

From: Indianapolis, IN
Region: Midwest
Topic: Plant Identification
Title: Smarty Plants on Smoke Tree
Answered by: Joe Marcus and Nan Hampton

QUESTION:

I live in Indianapolis Indiana and there is this wonderful tree on my street which has the most unusual flowers that I've ever seen. They look like pink and white fiber optics. Spencer gift stores used to sell these fiber optic lights that look like this tree's flowers. Pink delicate colored hair-like balls that seem to float all over the tree every spring. Does anyone have a clue what the name of this tree is, or where I might be able to find some close-up photo's of its flowers? I can't figure out any better way to describe these blossoms they are unlike any tree blossom I have ever seen. I was thinking that maybe they were the "Smoke Tree" or "Smoke Bush", but I looked at several photos of those (Google search "Smoke Tree") and they didn't really look right, but then again there were no close up shots of the blooms themselves. If you have any ideas please email me. Have a terrific day and God Bless.

ANSWER:

Your "fiber optic" tree sounds like Albizia julibrissin, Silktree or Mimosa Tree. Be sure to select "Search Images" from the menu at the top of that page to see more pictures. You can also see more pictures on the Duke University web page.
 

More Plant Identification Questions

Plant identification for Redding, CA
August 11, 2012 - I have a volunteer plant that has dull green leaf with tiny white flowers that turn into a small black berry the size of a raisin. Can you identify it? I live in Redding, Ca. They are popping up in th...
view the full question and answer

Non-blooming orange bell plant
June 15, 2008 - My orange bell plant is not blooming. I live in Central Texas where it is hot. The plant has part sun, part shade. Is there any way to help it bloom?
view the full question and answer

Identity of mint impersonator in California
May 20, 2012 - Is there such a thing as a mint "impersonator"? There are random 'sprigs' of purple-stemmed, bright green leaf plants in my front yard. We just moved in to the house and I don't want to assume ...
view the full question and answer

Name of epiphyte growing on oak trees
June 15, 2006 - Please tell me what the epiphyte growing on the oak trees is.
view the full question and answer

Identity of a plant in Ohio
May 11, 2009 - Trying to identify a tree/shrub in Ohio. It grows from 6-8', and blooms through the summer. It has small green glossy leaves, and bell/trumpet shaped flowers in pink, white, or yellow with stripes. T...
view the full question and answer

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