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

Summer fragrance from Naples FL
June 07, 2011 - Ever since I was a little girl growing up in Naples, Florida, there has been something that blooms in the summer. I smell this every day into the evening and it isn't a flowery fragrance, it was a li...
view the full question and answer

Identification of rose campion
August 04, 2007 - My friend shared a plant with me and I cannot identify it. She said that it was Rose Campriow? or something like this. It has very small pink/purplish blooms with grey green foliage. It is a perenn...
view the full question and answer

Plant identification
June 07, 2011 - Please help me identify this volunteer plant in my back yard in Austin, TX. It has long thorns. Thank you.
view the full question and answer

Plant identification
July 22, 2010 - Dear Mr. Smarty Plants, (love the name), I have found a plant in my yard. Underground it looks like a green onion, above ground it has a broad leaf, a thin 8-12 inch stalk and the top 2" of the stalk...
view the full question and answer

Identification of Queen Anne's Lace look-alike
May 13, 2013 - I am trying to identify a plant/weed that grows here in Austin but I haven't found an exact match in your databases. It looks very similar to Queen Anne's lace and to your photos of yarrow but the l...
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 | STAFF
© 2015 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center