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

Monday - May 07, 2007

From: Austin, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Plant Identification, Shrubs
Title: Desert or littleleaf sumac (Rhus microphylla) on Texas State Capitol grounds
Answered by: Nan Hampton

QUESTION:

I am trying to find out what kinds of plants are planted on the Texas State Capitol Grounds. There is a bush that grows around the Capitol Extension windows area and I don't know what they are. The bush has a light-green color, almost like mint, and the bush has small white blossoms in the spring. I thought there was a book about Capitol plantlife, but I can't find one - not even in the Capitol Bookstore. Please help.

ANSWER:

Mr. Smarty Plants made a special trip to the Texas State Capitol grounds to see this plant and is happy to report its identity, Rhus microphylla (littleleaf or desert sumac). It grows in rough dry habitats in the western half of Texas. The blossoms attract bees, deer browse its foliage, and its berries are eaten by birds and small mammals. With its many-branched foliage and red berries, it is a very handsome shrub.

 

 


Rhus microphylla

Rhus microphylla

Rhus microphylla

 

 

More Plant Identification Questions

Help with plant identification.
September 01, 2008 - We need help identifying a perennial in our backyard, which we assume is a native/wildflower, but might not be. It has yellow flowers with 5/6 petals (delicatea, starlike/about 1-1.5 inches across) a...
view the full question and answer

A blue-eyed grass with salmon-colored blooms?
June 16, 2015 - Has anyone heard of a blue-eyed grass variety that has salmon-colored blooms? I have a photo if needed.
view the full question and answer

Plant identification from Virginia
May 03, 2012 - We found lots of asparagus like stalks growing randomly in our field here in central Virginia. But, instead of an asparagus head it has a tight cluster of leaves that are small and roundish. Any idea...
view the full question and answer

Plant identification possibly red buckeye
July 06, 2008 - I encountered a shrub-like plant in the Edwards Plateu noth of Bracketville, and could use your help with identification. It's most distinguishing charactaristics are the seed pod, which has three c...
view the full question and answer

Identity of invasive vine in The Woodlands, Texas
December 02, 2013 - What is the invasive vine covering trees in The Woodlands, Texas?
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