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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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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!

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Friday - April 16, 2010

From: Durham, NC
Region: Southeast
Topic: Plant Identification
Title: Plant identification
Answered by: Nan Hampton

QUESTION:

No pictures only memory. It looks like a dried flower and grows with other wildflowers along roadside. It is mostly purple or blue purple and sometimes called statis. Stems favor dandelions, only thicker, no thorns but slightly rough to touch. Texture of blooms remind me of tissue paper flowers. Is this its correct name? I would like some seeds if not a true weed.

ANSWER:

Mr. Smarty Plants thinks that the plant is Limonium sinuatum, annual statice, a native of Europe.  Here are some photos and more information from Malta and from Israel.  Now would we consider it a weed?  It is definitely a non-native but it doesn't appear to be invasive.  If you do want to plant it, however, we would recommend that you plant it in a container and watch carefully to control its spread.

If you particularly like the color of the statice, may I recommend three beautiful plants of a similar color that are native to North Carolina:

Baptisia australis (blue wild indigo)

Lupinus perennis (sundial lupine)

Salvia azurea (azure blue sage)


Baptisia australis

Lupinus perennis

Salvia azurea

 

 

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