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?

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
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
Not Yet Rated

Friday - May 28, 2010

From: Nederland , TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Plant Identification
Title: How to distinguish Malvaviscus arboreus from M. a. var. drummondii?
Answered by: Joe Marcus

QUESTION:

I have a Turk's Cap plant. How do I tell if it is Malvaviscus arboreus or Malvaviscus arboreus var. drummondii?

ANSWER:

The short answer is if you didn't go to Mexico or Central or South America to get your plant, it's almost certainly Malvaviscus arboreus var. drummondii, our native variety.  The type variety, M. a. var. arboreus is native from Mexico to Brazil and the West Indies.  If it's a possibility that your plant came from somewhere south of the US border then the simplest distinguishing characteristic is overal leaf shape.  Though leaf morphology is quite variable for both varieties, in general, the leaves of our native variety are about as broad (or broader) as they are long.  The leaves of Malvaviscus arboreus var. arboreus are generally narrower in width than in length.  There are other, more technical differences, but these are the simplest to use.

 

More Plant Identification Questions

Desert or littleleaf sumac (Rhus microphylla) on Texas State Capitol grounds
May 07, 2007 - I am trying to find out what kinds of plants are planted on the Texas State Capitol Grounds. There is a bush that grows around the Capitol Extension windows area and I don't know what they are. The...
view the full question and answer

Plant Identification
June 07, 2009 - Having great difficulty identifying a perennial plant. Although it looks marvelous (coming in two shades), I haven't been able to correctly identify it. Local college feels it is Eupatorium Rugosum, ...
view the full question and answer

Identity of yellow thistle-like plant
June 01, 2011 - Dear Mr.Smarty Plants, I see this flower along the road but I can't seem to find it on your website. It looks like a yellow thistle and it is a panicle and a head. It is about a foot tall. Do you kn...
view the full question and answer

Is Talinum paniculatum native to Central Texas?
September 02, 2012 - I just bought a plant in Austin called Talinum paniculatum, Jewels of Opar. We are adamant about growing only local natives in the yard so it will have to be a potted plant unless you can verif...
view the full question and answer

Identification of orange flowering tree in West Virginia
May 21, 2008 - I was wondering if you might have any suggestions as to what small tree-like plant I saw over the last two weeks (mid May) in West Virginia, in the woods, in the mountains. With honeysuckle-like leav...
view the full question and answer

Smarty Plants's Facebook profile Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.

Mr. Smarty Plants wants you to be his Facebook friend. Click the Facebook icon to add yourself to Mr. Smarty Plants list of friends.
E-NEWSLETTER | BECOME A MEMBER | DONATE NOW | MEDIA | SITEMAP | STAFF
© 2015 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center