En Español

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 08, 2014

From: Midland, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: General Botany
Title: How are full sun, part sun, etc, defined?
Answered by: Joe Marcus

QUESTION:

Hello, I have a question about sun requirements. Does saying something needs "full sun" mean a particular number of hours? Does it mean 6 or more hours / day? 8 or more? Is there an agreed upon numeric value for full sun, part sun, and shade? Given that we can fairly accurately model sun conditions now on a site, just curious where the line is drawn. Thanks so much. Love your work.

ANSWER:

There are specific definitions for full sun, part sun, part shade and full shade, but with these definitions there is a healthy dose of art that's thrown in with the science of it.  We define full sun as an area that receives more than six hours of direct sunlight each day.  Part sun is defined as receiving four to six hours of sun each day, while part shade areas get two to four hours of sun daily and full shade areas are defined as receiving fewer than two hours of direct sunlight each day.  However, the mitigating circumstances can be a bit tricky.  For example, afternoon sun tends to be more intense than morning sun.  Sometimes, reflected sunlight can play a significant role in light quality and intensity.  Finally, geography also affects light intensity with desert areas and high-elevation regions having generally more intense sunlight than other places.

 

More General Botany Questions

Strange form of Dasylirion sp. (sotol)
December 27, 2008 - Mr. Smarty: I have a client with a huge (2 ft. diameter trunk), multi-headed dasylirion. On one or more of the heads, the leaves arch inward instead of outward. Someone said this is because of an inju...
view the full question and answer

Native subarctic plants
March 26, 2008 - I'm doing a project on subarctic things and I have to have subarctic plants in it. I need to know a few and about them. Can you help?
view the full question and answer

Use of the word annual
May 27, 2015 - Why is the word 'annual' used to describe plants with one grow season, when in all other cases it's used to describe things that reoccur year after year? i.e. Events, celebration, salary?
view the full question and answer

Is Devilsclub related to Gunnera?
March 09, 2009 - Is Devil's Club related to Gunnera?
view the full question and answer

Do bees visit cedar trees and other conifers for pollen?
November 30, 2013 - I was wondering if honey bees or native bees visit cedar trees for pollen? and what about other conifers?
view the full question and answer

Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.
E-NEWSLETTER | BECOME A MEMBER | DONATE NOW | MEDIA | JOBS | SITEMAP | STAFF INTRANET
© 2016 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center