Host an Event Volunteer Join Tickets

Support the plant database you love!

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.

Help us grow by giving to the Plant Database Fund or by becoming a member

Did you know you can access the Native Plant Information Network with your web-enabled smartphone?

Share

Ask Mr. Smarty Plants

Ask Mr. Smarty Plants is a free service provided by the staff and volunteers at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center.

Search Smarty Plants
See a list of all Smarty Plants questions

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!

Need help with plant identification, visit the plant identification page.

 
rate this answer
Not Yet Rated

Saturday - May 04, 2013

From: Clarksville, TN
Region: Southeast
Topic: Plant Identification, Shrubs
Title: Plant Identification from Clarksville TN
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

We live on a north facing wooded ridge line in Middle TN. I have a single large (6') bush that is blooming now (late April) with beautiful 6" long, end of stem clusters of small pink flowers in 3-5 bud clusters branching off of the stem. The flowers are delicate, four petal, 1/2 -3/4" long that extends out of a 1/2 " vase-shaped pod. The leaves are finely toothed, whorled, 5-leaf elongated, pointy tipped with perfectly parallel veins. I can send a picture if you give me a cell phone #. I have looked at several on-line ID keys and have come up dry. Please help. Thanks!

ANSWER:

Sadly, we are no longer able to accept pictures for plant identification. Please see our page on Plant Identification for some other resources that might be able to help you, including identification from pictures.

However, we did want to at least try, so we went to our Native Plant Database and, using the Combination Search, looked for shrubs native to Tennessee that bloomed in April and have pink blooms. We only found two that we thought came close. It is very possible that the plant is a non-native. The Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center is committed to the growth, propagation and protection of plants native to North America but also to the areas in which they have evolved; in your case, Montgomery County, Tennessee. If it is, indeed, a non-native, it would be out of our range of expertise.

Here are the two we found:

Rhododendron calendulaceum (Flame azalea)

Rhododendron periclymenoides (Pink azalea)

 

From the Image Gallery


Mountain azalea
Rhododendron canescens

Pink azalea
Rhododendron periclymenoides

More Shrubs Questions

Failure to thrive of Esperanza in Houston
July 07, 2009 - Esperanza plant. I have 3 of these plant in my flower bed for the last 10 years. They get west sun. Over the last three years they have bloomed initially but then the new growth is deformed. The best...
view the full question and answer

Drought & Deer Resistant Shrub for Shade in Medina, TX
June 14, 2013 - We are dedicated to native plants in Medina, but are desperate to find a drought and deer resistant shrub for shade. Would we be too far off base with an oleander bush? We know birds and most butterfl...
view the full question and answer

Effective plant cover for utility boxes
June 15, 2007 - In Connecticut, we have utility boxes for underground electricity and cable located in front of our house. The builder has landscaped around them: first with rhododendrons and then azaleas and both ...
view the full question and answer

Plants for steep slope in Pittsburgh PA
April 25, 2013 - I have a similar question to one from SC. I live in Pittsburgh, PA. We have a steep slope behind a newly built in pool. What type of plants can I put on the hillside to hold the soil. It gets a ...
view the full question and answer

Problems with non-native Cleyera and Red-tip photinia
June 01, 2008 - I planted a row of Cleyera in a bed that receives sunlight for about 3 hours during the middle of the day. My problem is that a number of the plants are dying. It begins with the leaves on one small...
view the full question and answer

Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.