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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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Thursday - January 20, 2011

From: Leander, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Plant Identification
Title: Identity of plant called 'Bell-flowered Yucca' associated with Lynn Lowrey
Answered by: Nan Hampton

QUESTION:

Please help identify a plant, the seeds of which are labeled "Bell Flowered Yucca" and " H. lowyrii" (or, presumably, some variant of Lynn Lowrey's name). I believe that this seed was collected by Rex Moyer on a trip with Mr. Lowrey.

ANSWER:

I wasn't able to find anything that was actually referred to as Hesperaloe lowreyii (or some other variation of Lowrey) by googling Hesperaloe lowrey, but I did find (from Peckerwood Garden Conservation Foundation in Hempstead, Texas) Hesperaloe mamulique 'Lynn's Pink' that Lynn Lowrey apparently collected when he was in Mexico.  Another source (Cistus Design and Nursery, Sauvie Island, Oregon) listed Hesperaloe campanulatus [Mamulique Pass] that, from its description, might be what Peckerwood Garden Conservation Foundation called H. mamulique.  Neither of these names occurs in the USDA Plants Database or in the Integrated Taxonomic Information System (ITIS) database.  The name Hesperaloe campanulata was found in the International Plant Names Index (IPNI), however, for a plant whose distribution is Mamulique micro-ondas, Nuevo León, Mexico and could possibly be the plant collected by Lowrey.  'Campanulata' means bell-shaped or bell-flowered.  If you google 'Bell-flowered yucca', you will find Desert Tropicals has a listing for Hesperaloe campanulata, Bell Flower Hesperaloe and Mountain States Wholesale Nursery lists H. campanulata, Bell-flowered Hesperaloe.  There are other sites that list it as well.  So, in my opinion Hesperaloe campanulata is the name you are looking for that is associated with Lynn Lowrey and is called Bell-flowered Yucca.

To confirm this, you might try contacting Mike and Patsy Anderson at Anderson Landscape & Nursery, Inc. in Houston.  Patsy is the daughter of the late Lynn Lowrey.  She might have more insight into which Hesperaloe sp. associated with her father is called Bell-flowered Yucca.

You can read two memoriams to Lynn Lowrey—"Remembering Lynn Lowrey" by David Creech and "Lynn R. Lowrey, Plantsman" by Mary Anne Pickens—on the Lynn L. Lowrey Arboretum of Rice University site.

 

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