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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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Tuesday - September 14, 2010

From: North Myrtle Beach, SC
Region: Southeast
Topic: Non-Natives, Plant Identification
Title: What is the correct genus name for Fringe flower in North Myrtle Beach, SC?
Answered by: Jimmy Mills

QUESTION:

Is it Laura Pedlum or lorapetalum? I saw this shrub last week, and finally found a picture of it. The search engine listed about three different names for it! So what is the correct name, and does it come in any other flower color than pink? Thanks!

ANSWER:

The correct name is Loropetalum; the name derives from the strap-like petals of the flower (gr. petalon = petals, loron = strap). A common name is Fringe Flower.

The plant is in the witch-hazel family and is native to China and Japan. This places it outside the area of focus of the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center where our mission is to increase the sustainable use and conservation of native wildflowers, plants, and landscapes. However, the burgundy foliage and fuchsia flowers of some varieties make them favorites with landscapers.

The species Lorapetalum chinensis has white or yellow flowers, and the species Lorapetalum chinensis var. rubrum has flowers that can be pink, fuchsia, or red. This link to Absolute Wonder give a thorough description of the varieties of Loropetalum chinensis.

 

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