Rent Shop Volunteer Join

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

Tuesday - April 01, 2014

From: Austin, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Butterfly Gardens, Herbs/Forbs
Title: Availability of Heliotropium angiospermum from Austin
Answered by: Barbara Medford, Joe Marcus, Sean Watson

QUESTION:

I have admired the Wildflower Center's Heliotropium angiospermum (Scorpian's Tail) for the great number of butterflies it attracts. I would really love to purchase one on these plants, but don't see it on your upcoming plant sale list. Any information on where or when this plant might be available would be appreciated. Please consider selling this plant in the future. Thanks.

ANSWER:

This species is one of those odd ducks that are difficult to classify neatly.  In some instances it acts as an annual, though it may also be a short-lived perennial in some environments.  Likewise, as an annual plant it is essentially herbaceous, though if it perennializes it can become a bit woody and seem more like a subshrub or shrub.  In south Texas, which is at the northern extreme of this species’ range, it’s basically an annual herb.

 According to Sean Watson, our Nursery Manager, Scorpion’s-tail will not be available at this spring’s sale, though other sales are possible.  One or both of the two Native Plant Society Of Texas chapters that do their fundraisers at our sales might have it, but we won’t know about that until the day of the sale.

However, that having been said, we found this previous answer identifying a plant growing in a container in front of the Auditorium at the Center, in 2012.

Here are the growing conditions for this plant:

Growing Conditions

Light Requirement: Sun , Part Shade
Soil Moisture: Moist

From the National Organizations Directory

According to the species list provided by Affiliate Organizations, this plant is either on display or available from the following:

NPSOT - Austin Chapter - Austin, TX
National Butterfly Center - Mission, TX

Mr. Smarty Plants, of course, has no say in what plants are sold in our semi-annual sales, but we have expert horticulturists and gardeners working year round to select the best plants; in many cases, grown in our own greenhouses, for the Sales.

Since we have no pictures of Scorpion's-Tail in our Image Gallery, here are some from Google.

 

 

More Herbs/Forbs Questions

Care for indoor ivy from Carollton TX
January 26, 2012 - I have an indoor ivy that is on a pole. The pole is breaking, and I need to separate the ivy from the pole with the least amount of trauma to the plant. How should I do this? Thanks!
view the full question and answer

Deer-resistant plants for under cedar and oak trees in Austin
June 22, 2010 - I have about 1.5 acres in southern Travis county. It's full of mature live oaks and cedar trees, and the soil is full of limestone. I've been gathering the limestone and using them to create raise...
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

Flowering ofPluchea odorata in Houston, TX
August 13, 2014 - I sprouted Pluchea odorata seeds this spring, but the plants seem too small to bloom this year. Although your website characterizes this plant as an annual, do you think it will survive the Houston wi...
view the full question and answer

Lantanas failing to bloom, turning brown
October 06, 2007 - The lantana in my front yard does not bloom, is not overwatered but does get watered, leaves turned brown and plants generally have not grown. The lantana in the rest of the yard are in bloom and lo...
view the full question and answer

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