Rent Shop Volunteer Join

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

Identification of stinging plant in Central Texas
July 02, 2012 - I live on 15 acres on Nameless Road. When walking on property, occasionally my leg/ankle brushes against some plant that "stings" me. Like little needles in my skin. Doesn't last long, but becau...
view the full question and answer

Identification of maypop north of Houston
March 08, 2008 - I have some land in the country an hour north of Houston, Texas. There is a wild plant which grows in clusters from 10' to 20' wide. These plants grow about 6" or 12" apart.They are approx. one fo...
view the full question and answer

Plant ID from Horseshoe Bend, TX
April 01, 2012 - I am trying to identify two plants - one - a flower springing up in a mint patch/Users/leehsb/Desktop/DSC_0407.JPG/Users/leehsb/Desktop/DSC_0408.JPG and the next a small bunched plant in our garden (n...
view the full question and answer

Identification of purple wildflower shaped like a bottle rocket
June 19, 2013 - Dear Smarty Plants, the other day while driving north on 281 from San Antonio I noticed a purple wildflower that was shaped sort of like a bottle rocket, seemed to have leaves similar to verbena and ...
view the full question and answer

Plant identification
August 16, 2008 - I walk in a wooded area. There is a plant with large spade like leaves.It grow to about 4 to 6 ft. In other areas it has grown almost tree-like with green sticky nuts or seeds. I believe it had purple...
view the full question and answer

Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.