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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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Tuesday - April 29, 2008

From: Austin, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Non-Natives, Deer Resistant
Title: Information about Maui Red Starflower
Answered by: Nan Hampton

QUESTION:

I can't find any information on MAUI RED STARFLOWER. I found some in Houston Texas & the card says sun, blooms spring to frost, showy bloom, good in clusters. MY QUESTION was to find out if it is a deer resistant plant? I live in Austin Texas & the deer like pretty much everything. The Maui Red Starflower is an evergreen which is another plus for me. Any ideas?

ANSWER:

We found a site telling us that the botanical name for Maui Red Starflower is Ixora coccinea and we also learned from Floridata that it is a native of southeast Asia, south India, and Sri Lanka. Our expertise and focus here at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center is with plants native to North America so this particular plant is more than a little out of our area; however, we can guide you to an article, Ornamental Plant Susceptibility to Damage by Deer in Florida, from the University of Florida that puts Ixora sp. in their "Rare or Minor" damage list. You can find more sites giving information about the deer-resistance of Ixora sp. by Googling "Ixora deer resistant."

Here is another site with information about the care of I. coccinea from University of Florida Cooperative Extension Service.

 

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