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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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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!

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Monday - May 09, 2005

From: paris, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Wildflowers
Title: Yellow Indian paintbrush, Castilleja indivisa
Answered by: Nan Hampton

QUESTION:

Does entireleaf Indian paintbrush, Castilleja indivisa, come in yellow in the wild? I have Indian paintbrush in the front pasture and noticed last weekend that there were 5 or 6 that were light yellow. I have never seen these in yellow and was wondering if it was normal.

ANSWER:

Yellow Indian paintbrushes (Castilleja indivisa) are normal, just not common. The plants carry a modified color gene that makes the plant yellow rather than the more common orange color. In fact, there are many color variations for the paintbrush from carmine to brick red to salmon. The yellow and white variations are less common than the other colors.
 

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