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

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

Backward blooming Jack-in-the-pulpit
April 18, 2008 - why does my jack in the pulpit plant bloom backwards
view the full question and answer

Allelopathy in Sassafras albidum
January 11, 2012 - Sassafras albidum description says "Sassafras is allelopathic and can discourage the growth of certain other plants within its root zone." My question is: WHICH plants are susce...
view the full question and answer

Perennials for mountain cabin in Southern California
July 26, 2010 - We have a mountain cabin at 7,000ft elevation in S. California. Please recommend native perennials. Thanks.
view the full question and answer

Annual flowers for rocky area near driveway in Pennsylvania
May 25, 2010 - What type(s) of annual flowers can I plant along a driveway in northeast PA? The soil is very rocky and the area is mostly shady receiving only morning and some late afternoon sun.
view the full question and answer

Hybridized Indigo Spires having problems in Wimberley, TX
August 19, 2010 - I planted 7 Indigo Spires from one gallon containers in May and now each plant is about 18" tall. 4 of the 7 fell over about 2 weeks are. The plants still look healthy with no dropped or curled leav...
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 | STAFF
© 2015 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center