En EspaŅol

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
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 Propagation Questions

Plants for elementary school grow lab in New York
March 14, 2007 - What can we grow in a grow lab in our elementary school library from seed now that will bloom by June or what interesting looking established plants can we put in this grow lab that will have meaning ...
view the full question and answer

Propagation of Liatris elegans in Lubbock TX
October 14, 2010 - I am going to harvest several Liatris Elegans.I want to grow as many as possible out of what I harvest. What will be the best method? I have plenty of land at my home for growing these plants.I will ...
view the full question and answer

Few seeds from turkscap in Seguin, TX
November 14, 2009 - I have several Turk's cap plants but most do not produce seed. Any ideas? They have been in place 5 plus years.
view the full question and answer

Growing Texas wildflowers indoors for a March wedding from Austin
October 01, 2013 - I have learned so much from this site! Thank you! I am getting Married this March and I am hoping to use Texas wildflowers for the centerpieces. I hope to grow them in containers indoors and have the ...
view the full question and answer

Propogating snowbells from Elmendorf TX
June 06, 2012 - Is it possible to propagate Styrax platanifolius and Halesia diptera from cuttings? If yes, what is the process?
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