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
Not Yet Rated

Sunday - May 16, 2010

From: Vancouver, BC
Region: Canada
Topic: Non-Natives, Vines
Title: Problem with acanthus in Vancouver BC
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

My girlfriend's Mom just planted an Acanthus in her garden. In the morning, it apparently stands up tall, but in the evening it bends over until the the leaves are lying in the dirt. She's concerned there's something wrong with it. Is there?

ANSWER:

Not being able to see the plant, and since the climate in Vancouver is way different from Austin, TX, we did a little research to see what your friend's mother has in her garden.There is one plant with "acanthus" as one of its common names in our Native Plant Database, Anisacanthus quadrifidus var. wrightii (Wright's desert honeysuckle), which is in the family Acanthaceae and genus aniscanthus. It is  endemic to Texas, and can survive as far north as Dallas, although it may die down to the ground there and re-emerge in the spring.

So, we're thinking that is probably not the Acanthus your friend's mother planted. It is more likely that the plant is  Acanthus mollis, described in this Floridata site.  It also belongs to the Acanthaceae Family but the genus is aniscanthus.

Acanthus mollis is non-native to North America, instead being native to Africa, Temperate Asia and Europe, and therefore out of our range of expertise and not in our Native Plant Database. We suggest you compare the pictures from Google of Acanthus mollis, with the pictures below from our Native Plant Image Gallery of Aniscanthus quadrifidus.


Anisacanthus quadrifidus var. wrightii

Anisacanthus quadrifidus var. wrightii

Anisacanthus quadrifidus var. wrightii

Anisacanthus quadrifidus var. wrightii

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

More Vines Questions

Transplanting Virginia creeper
September 02, 2008 - I have a large Virginia creeper plant approximately 15 feet in length. Is it possible to transplant the whole thing without killing it? If so how do I care for it after it has been moved? Thank yo...
view the full question and answer

Climbing options for a Coral honeysuckle in Austin Texas
April 16, 2013 - Regarding Coral honeysuckle, what is the best support to encourage continued spread, chicken-wire/fencing? Currently the plants and vines are on fencing and beginning to fold over. I'd like to add...
view the full question and answer

Failure to flourish of Trumpet Creeper in Leesburg VA
June 28, 2011 - Dear Mr. Smarty Plants: Late last year I planted a trumpet creeper vine to grow on my fence and attract hummingbirds. It gets full sun, is in average soil and gets adequate water. I put a few daylilli...
view the full question and answer

How to distinguish male and female grape vines in Gage OK.
August 19, 2012 - Are there male and female plants for wild grapes? If so, how do we tell the difference?
view the full question and answer

Identification of a vine in Tennessee
June 14, 2014 - I have a beautiful vine with clusters approximately 70 feet All the way up a tree in a heavily wooded area. It seems to be evergreen or semi- evergreen. Can you help identify?
view the full question and answer

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