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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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Saturday - June 16, 2012

From: Antioch, TN
Region: Southeast
Topic: Plant Identification
Title: Identity of white flowers, 6 petals and 5 yellow stamens
Answered by: Nan Hampton

QUESTION:

Have white flower with 6 petals and 5 yellow stamen in middle . Looks like yellow stamen star cluster. Could be Gladious or Star of bethleham but Star has 6 yellow stamen in middle right? Can you identify? Also has long approximate 24 inch stem.

ANSWER:

First of all, you need to understand that our focus and expertise here at the Wildflower Center are with plants that are native to North America.  Neither Ornithogalum umbellatum (Star of Bethlehem) or any species of Gladiolus are native to North America.   Additionally, Star of Bethelehem and Gladiolus do not look really similar.   I have a feeling that whatever the plant is that you have, it is a non-native cultivar.   Your best bet to determine its identity is to photograph it and then visit our Plant Identification page to find links to several plant identification forums that will accept photos of plants for identification.

 

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