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
1 rating

Saturday - April 19, 2008

From: Meridian, ID
Region: Rocky Mountain
Topic: Non-Natives
Title: Tentative identification of non-native Senecio rowleyanus
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

I am trying to track down a plant that I used to have but do not know what it is called. It grew in long strings of "pea like" balls. When planted in a hanging pot, the stringy "pea" like vines looked really cool and I would like to have one again. The one I used to have was picked clean by my then 1 year old child.

ANSWER:

This sounds very like a succulent that we have seen from time to time without knowing what it was. So, we went looking at succulents, and have found one that appears to match your description. Here is a page of images of Senecio rowleyanus; see if it matches your memory of the plant. Somewhat to our surprise, it is a member of the family Asteraceae, but when you see pictures of the flowers, you will see that they lack the ray-like florets that ordinarily appear in that family. It is sometimes called "string of beads" or "string of peas", and the round "beads" are actually leaves, adapted to conserve moisture during extreme periods of drouth. It is native to southwest Africa, and therefore a little out of the area of expertise of the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center, which is dedicated to the care and propagation of plants native to North America. However, many indoor container plants are non-native subtropicals, which can adapt to the conditions of indoor living. Go to this website Plants to Grow to learn about its care and culture. Many nurseries carry a selection of succulents, or possibly you could order it by mail. Hope we found the right plant!

 

More Non-Natives Questions

Problems with non-native weeping willow from Hazlet NJ
July 03, 2013 - Leaves turning yellow on weeping willow planted in May. What causes this and how can I fix it? Mother's Day gift after SANDY uprooted huge tree.
view the full question and answer

Smarty Plants on dogwoods
August 05, 2005 - I am interested in the worldwide distribution of the dogwood family/cornus. Specifically, I am interested in whether or not there are indiginous species on the Indian Subcontinent. Is there a resour...
view the full question and answer

Identification of native blackhaw or non-native ligustrum in Austin
January 16, 2005 - I have a native tree in my yard, ca.15-20 feet tall, that has glossy, rounded dark leaves and small clusters of dark purplish berries. (It also has very weak limbs - perhaps grows too fast for its ow...
view the full question and answer

Non-native Jasmine trachelospermum jasminoides in Utah
June 08, 2008 - Bought (4) Star Jasmine trachelospermum jasminoides at Costco. Want to use them in Salt Lake City, UT, brutal winters, on a fence in a retail center parking lot surrounded by trees. Will the leaves st...
view the full question and answer

Plants for a nursing home resident from LaQuinta CA
July 26, 2013 - I take care of an elderly woman with dementia. She is in a nursing home and she's always LOVES flowers and plants. Do you have any suggestions for potted outdoor blooming plants for the summer in...
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