En EspaŅol

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
Can't find the answer in our existing FAQs, submit a question to Mr. Smarty Plants.
Need help with plant identification, visit the plant identification page.
 
rate this answer
Not Yet Rated

Saturday - August 02, 2008

From: Austin, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Plant Identification
Title: Plant identification of red flower in Austin
Answered by: Nan Hampton

QUESTION:

What is the plant I have seen in urban landscapes in Austin, Texas, that have bright red flowers at the terminus of what looks like a spray of green, jointed, drooping branches (or stalks). It forms a relatively low clump. Looks to be drought tolerant plant.

ANSWER:

Hmm. At first, I thought you were seeing Hesperaloe parviflora (redflower false yucca) but then you said it forms a relatively low clump so this may not be it. Another possibility that is also rather tall is Ipomopsis rubra (standing-cypress) that had its peak blooming in June. Here are a few other possibilities for native landscaping plants with red blossoms that are commonly used in Austin:

Penstemon baccharifolius (baccharisleaf beardtongue)

Salvia penstemonoides (big red sage)

Salvia roemeriana (cedar sage)

Stachys coccinea (scarlet hedgenettle)

Lobelia cardinalis (cardinalflower)

Malvaviscus arboreus var. drummondii (wax mallow)

It is possible that the plant you are seeing isn't a native. If it isn't one of the plants above, please send us photos and we will do our best to identify it. Visit the Ask Mr. Smarty Plants page to read instructions for submitting photos (under "Plant Identification").


Hesperaloe parviflora

Ipomopsis rubra

Penstemon baccharifolius

Penstemon baccharifolius

Salvia roemeriana

Stachys coccinea

Lobelia cardinalis

Malvaviscus arboreus var. drummondii

 

 

 

More Plant Identification Questions

Plant similar to a cattail
June 06, 2012 - I don't know where this plant grows normally, but I am looking for a plant that is similar to a cat tail, but the petals are not feathery, they are red and waxy and the petals are round almost. Plea...
view the full question and answer

Photographing and Identifying trees of Long Island
June 01, 2013 - After being in a car accident I got into photography as sports are a distant memory due to my injuries. As a new hobby I thought of taking pictures of trees and then finding out their species name. ...
view the full question and answer

Plant identification in Keller TX
March 18, 2009 - I'm trying to i.d. a wildflower found in Keller, Tx. It is about 8 in. tall, single upright stem with narrow, slender leaves up the stem, several red blooms at top of stem about 1 inch wide, 5 petals...
view the full question and answer

Plant identification
May 03, 2010 - I have a 50 ft tree in my front forest apartment in Lewisburg, TN garden, that is blooming white cluster flowers. They are slightly fragrant. I thought Carolina silverbell but they have NO yellow stam...
view the full question and answer

Ivy with holes in its leaves
May 31, 2011 - Mr. Smarty Pants, Please help me, I was given an ivy (origin unknown). It is peculiar. It has holes in the leaves, not from bugs or from bacteria, etc. It is natural, the holes develop in some type...
view the full question and answer

Smarty Plants's Facebook profile Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.

Mr. Smarty Plants wants you to be his Facebook friend. Click the Facebook icon to add yourself to Mr. Smarty Plants list of friends.
E-NEWSLETTER | BECOME A MEMBER | DONATE NOW | MEDIA | SITEMAP
© 2014 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center