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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 - June 14, 2011

From: Weatherford, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Plant Identification
Title: Plant identification in Parker County, Texas
Answered by: Nan Hampton

QUESTION:

Hi. Growing alongside a country road, here in Parker County I photographed what I thought might be cardinal flowers. However, in searching books and on the net, I cannot find any quite like these. The stems have short slender leaflets (like a bottle brush flower only green) and are green while the flower (at the top) is 6 petaled star shaped bright red flower with what appears to be 4 yellow stamens. The bottlebrush type of stem is what is confusing me as I cannot see this type of stem/leaf structure in any of the pictures I've found. I can send you pics if you want. The entire plant is about 4' tall and is very stricking in its bright red color. Any ideas??

ANSWER:

Your flower sounds like Ipomopsis rubra (Standing cypress) and they are very striking!  Check out the photos below.  If that doesn't appear to be the flower you saw, visit our Plant Identification page to find links to several plant identification forums that will accept photos for identification.

 

From the Image Gallery


Standing cypress
Ipomopsis rubra

Standing cypress
Ipomopsis rubra

Standing cypress
Ipomopsis rubra

Standing cypress
Ipomopsis rubra

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