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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.

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Ask Mr. Smarty Plants is a free service provided by the staff and volunteers at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center.

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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!

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Wednesday - March 12, 2008

From: Queen Creek, AZ
Region: Southwest
Topic: Propagation
Title: Germination period for Snow Mountain beardtongue (Penstemon purpusii)
Answered by: Nan Hampton

QUESTION:

Why is the germination period for the Snowmountain Beardtongue so long?. I understand it to be approximately 690 days.

ANSWER:

I did find a record on The Seed Site from UK that reported "679" under the column heading "Winter-Out" for Penstemon purpusii (Snow Mountain beardtongue). According to their Germination Page: "Out = seeds sown in pots of compost and kept in uncovered trays outside in the open or on a shelf unit with covered sides."

Tom Clothier's Garden Walk and Talk web page has a Penstemon Germination Database that gives the germination time for P. purpusii as 8 weeks at 40° F. Perhaps the The Seed Site number was an entry error (maybe it was meant to be 67 or 79) or perhaps the outdoor temperature in the UK was not sufficiently consistent during the winter to germinate the seeds in the same amount of time as reported in the Penstemon Germination Database.

 

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