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

Want to identify thorny vines growing in Charlotte Hall, MD
April 25, 2013 - I have vines with thorns growing in my wood, vining around the trees and killing them. It grows and vines go up trees of any height all the way to the top. It has green pointy leaves. If it doesn't...
view the full question and answer

Plant identification
May 29, 2009 - I have a plant that I always thought was poison ivy. This spring however I saw an unusual flower on several of these plants. Three leaves and the flower almost looks like a wilted calla lily, but is a...
view the full question and answer

Are Yucca and Spanish dagger the same?
May 30, 2008 - We have Yucca, and we have Spanish Dagger. We don't think they are the same thing. Are they?
view the full question and answer

Plant identification for Beeville, TX
May 14, 2011 - Today in Beeville, TX I came across a plant that looks like a grass, but has a small black and white dotted flower. The flower looks like an orchid. Could you identify this or give me direction as t...
view the full question and answer

Plant identification
July 28, 2010 - I am trying to identify a plant that was given as a gift.It is growing outside in a pot, it is about 20 inches tall. Has green leaves on top, purple underneath and lovely purple flowers. Seems to lik...
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
© 2014 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center