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

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 produce ivy with large, green leaves
May 25, 2007 - How can I keep an Ivy green? When it was purchased it was green and had BIG leaves. How can I get the leaves to grow big again and get it green?
view the full question and answer

Climbing plant for Maryland
December 09, 2008 - Hi I am looking for a climbing plant which is native to Maryland. I want the plant to climb up the front of the house to assist with cooling in summer and to make the house look more attractive. I wou...
view the full question and answer

Difference between invasive Chinese and Japanese wisterias and native wisteria
September 12, 2014 - Dear Mr or Ms Smarty Plants, Is there any way I can tell for sure if my wisteria is native? I bought it at a place when it was in bloom that sold a lot of native plants. I Would like to know for sure...
view the full question and answer

Vines for a cliff in backyard
October 17, 2010 - I have a large (25 ft) cliff in my backyard. Its too large to use a retaining wall and occasionally some of the caliche slides down. I'm planning on planting vines at the top and letting them drape...
view the full question and answer

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