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

Friday - March 14, 2008

From: Weir, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Plant Identification
Title: Identification of a Globe Mallow
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

Mr. SP, Two or three years ago I purchased a mallow at the Wildflower Center that (I was told) had not yet been identified. I have looked at your pictures of Sphaeralcea hastulata which has the same flower however, the foliage on my plant is not quite as green, it is more gray. My plant is now two feet tall and probably two and a half feet wide. It did not die back this winter and is in full bloom now. What plant do you think I have. I am a docent for the Center, and am a grower located 10 miles northeast of Georgetown. I love this plant and am going to attempt to propagate it for sale.

ANSWER:

As it happens, I am also a Docent at the Wildflower Center. (You knew it was a team, not just one incredibly brilliant person, didn't you?) I also purchased a globe mallow at the Spring Sale in 2007, and have been cultivating it in a pot in my Cement Garden (patio to my apartment) since then. It is now in glorious bloom, and I'm wondering if we may have the same plant. I also do not remember exactly the name, except it was referred to as a "globe mallow" and I vaguely remember it also being called a "woolly globe mallow." I would then infer that it would be Sphaeralcea lindheimeri (woolly globemallow). The same plant that I have is now blooming against the stone wall outside the Library on the pathway to the Administration Building entrance, so you might stop by and take a look at it the next time you're there.

I also found this Texas A&M Bioinformatics Working Group website on Texas Endemics, which shows the areas where Sphaeralcea lindheimeri (woolly globemallow) are presently found naturally are pretty exclusively in South Texas. If you're still not satisfied that we have the plant identified, could you send us a digital image? There are instructions for doing so in the lower right hand corner of the "Ask Mr. Smarty Plants" page.


Sphaeralcea lindheimeri

Sphaeralcea lindheimeri

Sphaeralcea lindheimeri

 

 

More Plant Identification Questions

Plant identification in Georgia
September 14, 2011 - I saw the same question that I was going to ask about the plant that folds its leaves at dusk, with sparse branches, rapid growth, small yellow flowers and long (whisker-like, but do not appear to be ...
view the full question and answer

Differences between Lantana urticoides and Lantana camara
July 13, 2012 - I have found an orange variety of lantana growning in several location in Jefferson County. Is there any way I can tell for sure if it is L. camara or the native L. urticoides?
view the full question and answer

Books for plant identification of native California species
March 14, 2008 - When I was going to college, many years ago, there was a field book for plant identification for California native species. I am trying to find that book again or at least a good pocket book on plant...
view the full question and answer

Information about plant called Josephs tears, possibly Jobs tears (Coix lacryma-jobi)
October 08, 2007 - I recently received a plant and was told it was a succulent called Joseph's Tears. According to the individual who gave it to me, during the month of September it develops a little growth at the tip...
view the full question and answer

Identification of tree or shrub in Massachusetts
May 16, 2013 - Good morning, We are in Zone 5 and have a tree/shrub I cannot identify in the backyard of our new home. Tall (6')and growing, green stems,and when the stems are broken the branches smell of lemon o...
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