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

Wednesday - August 13, 2014

From: Houston, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Seeds and Seeding, Herbs/Forbs
Title: Flowering ofPluchea odorata in Houston, TX
Answered by: Jimmy Mills

QUESTION:

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 winter and come on next year as a biennial? Thank you, Mr. Smarty Plants

ANSWER:

Lets begin by using our Botanical Glossary to check out some terms.

Annual
A species that grows from seed, flowers, fruits and dies within one year's time. See also, Winter Annual.

Winter annual
An annual species that arises from seed in the summer or fall of one calendar year and completes its life cycle in the spring or summer of the following calendar year. E.g. Texas Bluebonnet, Lupinus texensis.

Biennial 
A plant that takes two years to complete the flowering cycle. Typically it grows vegetatively the first year and flowers and fruits during the second year before dying.

In this case, your Pluchea odorata (Sweetscent) may be acting as a winter annual if it survives the winter.

This is a bit confusing, but here are a couple of links that can help you understand the interesting lives of flowers:


 http://assoc.garden.org/courseweb/course2/week2/page4.htm

 http://www.proflowers.com/blog/annual-perennial-biennial-flowers

 

From the Image Gallery


Sweetscent
Pluchea odorata

More Herbs/Forbs Questions

Source for Texas Star hibiscus from Grand Prairie TX
June 24, 2012 - I am having a lot of difficulty in trying to find and purchase a Texas Hibiscus. Any clues?
view the full question and answer

Need a pretty ground cover to control erosion in Rigdeway, SC.
June 09, 2012 - What is a fast, pretty ground cover blanket to control erosion on steep hill. gets full sun.
view the full question and answer

How does Asclepias asperula (antelope horns) respond to fire
December 18, 2010 - From your experience with prairie burns, how does Asclepias asperula (antelope horns) respond to fire? Thanks.
view the full question and answer

Forage plants for deer in Central Texas
December 06, 2014 - Looking for best forage plants and seed for deer forage, Canyon Lake-New Braunfels, Tx. Have searched listings, but areas are NE or other and not relevant to my location. Your time much appreciated. ...
view the full question and answer

Berms to hold water around roots
December 05, 2008 - I planted new flower beds this November. There are currently dirt 'berms' around each plant - creating a well for water to seep into the immediate plant area. How can I keep these berms from erodi...
view the full question and answer

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