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?


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
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

Will Texas Bluebonnets grow in Gardiner, NY
May 06, 2010 - Will Texas bluebonnets grow in the Mid Hudson Valley New York? If so when and how is the best time to plant.
view the full question and answer

Starting Melochia Pyramidata from Seed
November 06, 2014 - Last year some Melochia pyramidata popped up in my yard all on its own. I was able to gather some (really neat looking) seed pods once they had dried out. I'm moving pretty soon and I'd like to grow...
view the full question and answer

Wildflower seeds to plant in summer in Austin
July 01, 2010 - Are there any wildflower seeds that can be planted during the summer months in Austin, TX?
view the full question and answer

Horse pasture seeds from Pawling NY
April 19, 2013 - We are getting ready to seed an area to be used as horse pasture some time in the future. What seed mix should we use to create an organic horse pasture in Pawling, NY. Ideally there would be some wil...
view the full question and answer

Growing Texas Bluebonnets in Colorado
February 12, 2009 - I bought bluebonnet seeds from your wildflower center last August when visited Austin. Being a Texas native, I want to enjoy bluebonnets here in Colorado. When do I plant my seeds outdoors? In the gro...
view the full question and answer

Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.
© 2015 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center