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
1 rating

Thursday - June 03, 2010

From: Nederland, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Plant Identification
Title: Differences between Ratibida columnifera and Ratibida peduncularis
Answered by: Nan Hampton

QUESTION:

How do you tell the difference between Ratibida columnifera and Ratibida peduncularis. On NPIN columnifera has red and penduncularis is solid yellow, but I have seen pictures listed as columnifera that are solid yellow.

ANSWER:

The flower color for the ray petals of both species can range from entirely yellow to entirely reddish-brown. The chief easily recognizable difference between Ratibida columnifera (upright prairie coneflower) and Ratibida peduncularis (naked Mexicanhat), according to The Manual of the Vascular Plants of Texas by Correll and Johnston, is that Ratibida columnifera (syn. Ratibida columnaris) has leaves all the way up the stem to right below the blossom and Ratibida peduncularis has the leaves concentrated at the base of the plant with the majority of the stem bare, thus its common name of 'naked Mexicanhat'. They do say that the plants may intergrade, however.  Rare Plants of Louisiana has a very good photo of R. peduncularis showing the leaves all occurring at the very bottom of its stalk.  You can see more detailed characteristics with flower and fruit size measurements that differ between the two from Flora of North American online (eFloras) and you can read the individual descriptions of R. columnifera and R. peduncularis from eFloras. This source also gives a reference that indicates that hybridization likely occurs among the species of this genus.


Ratibida columnifera

Ratibida columnifera

Ratibida peduncularis

 

 

More Plant Identification Questions

Identification of oak trees in Pennsylvania
October 14, 2013 - I am an avid hunter in PA. I found these nuts and was wondering what kind they are. There is a red oak beside this tree, and I know what a white oak is but this tree and it's nuts look to be from a...
view the full question and answer

Visual difference between Strophostyles umbellata and S. helvola
September 06, 2012 - I know that Strophostyles umbellata is perennial and S. helvola is an annual, but can you tell me how to visibly distinquish between S. umbellata and S. helvola.
view the full question and answer

Looking for pink star grass (Rhodohypoxis milloides)
June 23, 2008 - I am looking for a wildflower/plant called Pink Star Grass (common name). I am not sure what the proper name is. Can you help me with this? I would like information on it, and also would like to pu...
view the full question and answer

Looking for name of fragrant, night-blooming plant with flower resembling gardenia
January 05, 2008 - The plant that I am looking for is a night bloomer, strong scented and has leaves and flowers similar to gardenia. I have seen a picture of the plant but not the actually plant. Can you give me an id...
view the full question and answer

Control of Smilax bona-nox (saw greenbrier)
June 15, 2007 - We have some property near Round Mountain, Texas. Under and in the oak trees is a vine that has a heart-shaped, shiny leaf and nasty thorns. I'd like to know the name and how best to try to get rid...
view the full question and answer

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

Bibliography

Manual of the Vascular Plants of Texas (1979) Correll, D. S. & M. C. Johnston

Search More Titles in Bibliography