En EspaŅol
Share

Ask Mr. Smarty Plants

Mr. Smarty Plants - Propagation of Simsia calva from Albuquerque NM

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
Can't find the answer in our existing FAQs, submit a question to Mr. Smarty Plants.

Need help with plant identification, visit the plant identification page.
 
rate this answer
Not Yet Rated

Monday - January 27, 2014

From: Albuquerque, NM
Region: Southwest
Topic: Propagation, Seeds and Seeding, Herbs/Forbs, Shrubs
Title: Propagation of Simsia calva from Albuquerque NM
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

Hi - I was given some simsia calva seed from the LBJ wildflower center. It doesn't have a lot of info about starting the seeds, so any help is much appreciated! I tried starting some outdoors last year with no luck. I live in New Mexico, so it's quite dry - might I have better luck starting the seeds indoors in pots?

ANSWER:

Simsia calva (Awnless bush sunflower) is native to New Mexico as well to a lot of counties in West Texas. It is considered both an herb (herbaceous blooming plant) and a subshrub. We have a feeling that, rather than having been purchased directly from the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center, your seeds were purchased from the tent always maintained at our semi-annual Plant Sales by Native American Seed. The Wildflower Center itself does not ordinarily sell seeds, except for a few pre-packaged mixes in the Center Store. We went to the Native America Seed online catalog and found this page on Simsia calva (Awnless bush sunflower).

Even then, we still saw no very good information on the propagation of this plant. Although it appears on the USDA Plant Profile Map as being native to New Mexico, apparently county information on the plant had not been  reported, so we are not sure if Bernalillo County has the soils and other conditions favorable to this plant. We found an article from Naturalist.org  which you should read and note the comments under "Range:"

"In the United States, Simsia calva is prominent throughout Texas, through the trans-Pecos mountains, and leading into New Mexico's southeastern portion." Since Bernalillo County is in north central New Mexico, that might have a bearing on why your seeds did not come up.

From the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service, here is an article that includes propagation and preservation information on these seeds. If you intend to retry propagation with the seeds you have, you might want to test the viability of them. If you are interested in doing your own checking on the viability of seeds, see this article from About.com on How to Test Old Seeds.

 

From the Image Gallery


Awnless bush sunflower
Simsia calva

Awnless bush sunflower
Simsia calva

Awnless bush sunflower
Simsia calva

More Seeds and Seeding Questions

Smarty Plants on seed balls
September 27, 2005 - Do you have the recipe for Wildflower Seed Balls? It's where you mix dry wildflower seeds, compost, red clay, and water to form a seed ball and then you throw it. I think the ratio is 1 part seed, ...
view the full question and answer

Source for seeds of Mexican primrose from Dallas
April 25, 2013 - Can I purchase Mexican Evening Primrose seeds now for planting in the fall or do I need to wait for the fresh crop of seeds that will be gathered from this spring flowering. How can I be assured the ...
view the full question and answer

Resprouting of native prairie plants after snowstorm
April 07, 2007 - Will my prairie plants that have broken dormancy be harmed by a spring snowstorm? Temperatures have fallen down into the twenties and forecast to stay sub-freezing for five or six days. We have abou...
view the full question and answer

Time to mow bluebonnets from Smithville TX
April 12, 2012 - When is the best time to mow the seeded Bluebonnets? I have them and Drummond Phlox in my front yard. I need to clean and trim to start pulling the large numbers of Purple Hooked Sandburr.
view the full question and answer

Native lawn grass for Seabrook TX
March 12, 2013 - We want to seed our lawn in Seabrook, Tx.77586 with a Natural Grass replacing our St. Augustine Grass. I think there is one that is drought resistant (only water it twice a month.) and that does not g...
view the full question and answer

Smarty Plants's Facebook profile Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.

Mr. Smarty Plants wants you to be his Facebook friend. Click the Facebook icon to add yourself to Mr. Smarty Plants list of friends.
E-NEWSLETTER | BECOME A MEMBER | DONATE NOW | MEDIA | SITEMAP
© 2014 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center