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
4 ratings

Thursday - September 04, 2008

From: Waco, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Butterfly Gardens, Shrubs
Title: Information on Betonyleaf thoroughwort
Answered by: Barbara Medford and Sean Watson

QUESTION:

I purchased Conoclinium betonicifolium (Betonyleaf thoroughwort) at the spring 2008 LBJ WC plant sale. I've not been able to find much information on the plant in the typical places, including the Wildflower Center's plant database (the entry has no photos nor narrative info on the plant). I like it very much and would like to learn more about it. What can you tell me about its native distribution, habitat, bloom period, water requirements, typical height and width, etc?

ANSWER:

We agree with you that there is not much information out there on  Conoclinium betonicifolium (betonyleaf thoroughwort). This is probably because it has been introduced to cultivation fairly recently. The Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center Nursery Manager Sean Watson came to our rescue with this information:

"It blooms from late spring to frost, off and on in the summer, with heavier blooming in the fall and spring. Its native range is along the coast in South Texas from Brownsville to just north of Corpus Christi. It usually grows in sandier soil, but seems to be one of those species that is adaptable to clay soils. It ranges from 2 to 3 feet in height, and 3 to 4 feet in width, once it gets going. It has moderate water requirements. In its native range it gets much less rain than we do here in Austin, so, once established, it should take very little water as long as we have regular rains. It seems to volunteer readily from seed. Nice butterfly plant, like the other mistflowers. Queens love it."

Since Sean frequently goes out on plant scouting trips, looking for plants native to Texas not yet being cultivated, brings back cuttings and seeds, and propagates them in our Plant Nursery, he is probably the best possible authority. 

 

More Shrubs Questions

Native plants/shrubs to plant under sycamore and redbud trees
September 03, 2009 - I want to eventually get rid of our front lawn. We have a 40 year old sycamore tree and a young but well established redbud tree in the front yard. What are some good plants/shrubs to plant under the ...
view the full question and answer

Care of Northern honeysuckle bush
April 26, 2009 - I have a honeysuckle bush, I have had it for about year to two years. I would like to know if I should cut the brown parts off. There are some vines that do not look good, but some of the branches ha...
view the full question and answer

Butterfly bushes and weed killer in Pueblo West CO
August 27, 2011 - I have 3 previously healthy butterfly bushes that have one by one developed masses of tiny yellowish-green compact leaves. The entire bush went from its normal healthy appearance to something that res...
view the full question and answer

Carolina allspice (Calycanthus floridus) in Jasper TX
October 27, 2011 - Carolina allspice (calycanthus floridus) grows in my yard in East Texas. It is native to the eastern U.S., but I notice there is a variety whose distribution extends through Louisiana. Since I live in...
view the full question and answer

Replacement Yaupon holly doing poorly in Pflugerville, TX
May 09, 2012 - I had to replace quite a few shrubs after the drought last year. I live in Austin, TX. I have planted 3 dwarf yaupon holly bushes in the exact same place where the previous three same type of shrubs...
view the full question and answer

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