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

Question about male muscadine plants
June 01, 2012 - I have 9 muscadine plants, 3 females and 6 perfect flowered growing in my yard. A plant started growing under my porch lst year and it grew through the spaces between the boards. It grew nicely. It fl...
view the full question and answer

Non-native, invasive creeping fig in Webster TX
May 26, 2013 - We've recently moved into a new home in the southeast Houston area. The back of our property has a long concrete wall (gets quite a bit of sun), which we thought we could cover with a spreading vine....
view the full question and answer

Urushiol Oil Persistance?
September 09, 2015 - I'm trekking into poison ivy infested areas for work every other day. I make sure to wear long pants, long sleeves, boots, and long socks over my pants. I walk into my office to drop off supplies and...
view the full question and answer

Winter survival of non-native Mandevilla vine
March 24, 2007 - Last summer I bought a dwarf mandavilla vine that blooms deep red and planted it in a pot and kept in on my east-facing porch, where its tendrils hung over the pot. I had to move it to shelter for the...
view the full question and answer

Vines for fence in Gatesville, Texas
July 26, 2010 - Dear Mr Smarty Plants, My wife and I are looking for a nice vine or Ivy for our chain link fence to add a little privacy. We have 4 dogs that bark at anything that moves. We live in Gatesville Tex...
view the full question and answer

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