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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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Wednesday - April 20, 2011

From: Grandview, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Plant Identification
Title: Identification of purple flower near Ft. Worth
Answered by: Nan Hampton

QUESTION:

I'm doing a Flower Project for my Biology class. My partner and I have found a flower that we cannot identify and neither can our teacher. I found it on Interstate 35 going through Ft. Worth, Texas. It doesn't really have petals, but what you would consider "petals" are shaped like musical horns. There's usually ten on one flower and they are purple and at the top. This counts for a major part of our Sophomore year grade. If you could help, it would be greatly appreciated.

ANSWER:

Mr. Smarty Plants has thought about your identifiation request a lot and a little more information (size of plant, type of foliage, etc.) would have been helpful.  However, here are a few possibilities for your flower.  The first two are not native North American flowers but they have become widespread since their introduction and do occur in Tarrant County, Texas:

There are several plants that are native to Texas and the Fort Worth area that sound a bit like your description:

If none of these is the plant you found, please send us more information (e.g., size, foliage type, etc.) and we will give it another try.

Here are photos from our Image Gallery of some of the native plants listed above:


Prunella vulgaris


Dalea purpurea


Nuttallanthus texanus


Salvia engelmannii


Scutellaria drummondii


Physostegia pulchella

 


 

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