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?


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
6 ratings

Tuesday - November 10, 2009

From: McAllen, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Wildlife Gardens
Title: Latin name for botany mist in McAllen TX
Answered by: Barbara Medford


What is the latin name or formal name of botany mist which is a Queen butterfly nectar source in the Rio Grande Valley?


We believe you might be referring to Conoclinium betonicifolium (betonyleaf thoroughwort), which also has the common name of Betony-leaf mistflower. This USDA Plant Profile shows that it does indeed grow in the Rio Grande Valley and along the Texas Gulf Coast. Here are the growing conditions from our Native Plant Database for this plant:

"Water Use: Medium
Light Requirement: Sun , Part Shade
Soil Moisture: Moist
Drought Tolerance: Medium
texas comments: Betony-leaf mistflower is a somewhat woody, weak, decumbent plant rooting in sand or sandy clay and found throughout the Texas coast. All the flowers are disk-type with bluish petals. Like the other blue mistflowers, this one attracts a host of butterfly species. It thrives and will flower most abundantly in full sun, but will still produce a show in part shade."

Our database does not mention the Queen butterfly species itself, but if that butterfly inhabits your area, you can be pretty sure it has found the mistflowers. They bloom blue from March to August. Since we do not have a picture of this plant in  bloom in our Native Plant Image Gallery, we are going to include some pictures of other closely related members of the Conoclinium genus. 

Conoclinium coelestinum

Conoclinium greggii

Conoclinium greggii

Conoclinium betonicifolium





More Wildlife Gardens Questions

Color year round, welcome to Austin Texas.
December 04, 2011 - I am new to Austin and want to plant colorful flowers for fall and winter that get a "wow" reaction. I have not seen much at the local nurseries. Any and all suggestions are greatly appreciated!
view the full question and answer

Native plants for wildlife gardening in Illinois
May 29, 2006 - I live in Rockford, Illinois. Where/How can I find information on native flowers, plants, trees, grasses and animals, and other things I can plant on our property (about an acre) to provide a home fo...
view the full question and answer

Wildflower meadow for Arkansas
September 16, 2007 - We want to create a 1/2-1 acre wildflower style "meadow" using native plants that we can naturalize. I found information for our area (Central Arkansas) on this website that is helpful, but I am als...
view the full question and answer

Plants for field mice in habitat restoration in Dallas County, Texas
March 14, 2011 - For grassland and bottomland habitat restoration projects in North Central Texas (Dallas), what native plants would be beneficial as food sources for field mice. Thanks.
view the full question and answer

Hybrid of Campsis radicans to attract hummingbirds
February 06, 2008 - Hello :) I am not new to gardening...just new with new varieties of plants/flowers. I tried to do my "homework" first before contacting you...so I do appreciate your time. Anyhoo, I'm developin...
view the full question and answer

Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.
© 2015 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center