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?


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
2 ratings

Friday - May 25, 2007

From: Balch Springs, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Wildflowers
Title: Reason for small winecup flowers (Callirhoe sp.)
Answered by: Joe Marcus


I purchased some winecup seeds from a wildflower seed company and planted them this past autumn. I live in the northcentral Texas area. This spring, several of the seeds sprouted but they had tiny lavendar flowers instead of the rich magenta colored blooms I see growing all along the roadsides. I have checked the foliage to make sure that they are winecups and it appears to be the exact same as the wild winecup I see on roadsides. Why do mine have tiny flowers?


If your winecup is an annual species - probably Callirhoe leiocarpa - then what you describe would be strange, indeed. On the other hand, if your winecup is a perennial species, as most Texas species are, and they just sprouted this spring, then it is very likely they simply are not mature enough to make large flowers. There are a couple of winecup species that make lavendar-colored flowers including Plains Poppy-mallow, Callirhoe alcaeoides and White Winecup (which in spite of its common name is typically lavender/white variegated), Callirhoe involucrata var. lineariloba. Finally, it is possible that you have misidentified your plant, and it is another species altogether. We sometimes find surprises when we sow wild seed mixes.


Callirhoe leiocarpa

Callirhoe alcaeoides

Callirhoe involucrata var. lineariloba

More Wildflowers Questions

Need to Control Giant Ragweed in Wildflower Field in Austin, Texas
December 11, 2010 - I have an acre pond around my business park planted with several different kinds of wildflowers. I let all the vegetation grow until the first frost, because I have wildflowers that grow throughout ...
view the full question and answer

Central Texas wildflowers
March 20, 2004 - How do I propagate specific central Texas wildflowers?
view the full question and answer

Wildflowers planted in Pittsfield, IL to bloom the first of October
July 01, 2010 - If I plant my wildflower seeds now in Illinois, is it possible they will bloom in three months (by the very beginning of October)?
view the full question and answer

Developing fields with native plants from New Egypt NJ
July 24, 2013 - I have several acres of fields that I want to develop with native grasses and flowers. I would like to know the best time to mow the fields so that bushes and volunteer trees don't take over and that...
view the full question and answer

Revegetation of school site with meadow plants from Austin
December 23, 2013 - We are revegetating a hill country school site (typical calciferous soil stripped of vegetation & minimal topsoil) with a native seed mix equal to Native American Seed "Meadow Mix". We have an abund...
view the full question and answer

Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.
© 2016 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center