En Español

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 Swamp Rose (Rosa palustris) in Atlanta
May 28, 2006 - I live in metro Atlanta. I have a rose variety growing wild in the woods that resembles a Cherokee Rose except it is pink and has seven leaves on the stem. Can you identify it from this description? T...
view the full question and answer

Plant identification of shrub with thorns and purple flowers
July 05, 2011 - I have a small tree or shrub, it has very small or thin thorns on the branches. It blooms in April / May. The flowers are purple. My mother-in-law said that it has been around for over 100 years, b...
view the full question and answer

Non-native eleagnus from Jesup GA
January 17, 2014 - An elderly farmer has told me about a plant called Alley Agnes, but I can't find any plant by this name anywhere. He doesn't know another name for it, says it's what everyone has always called it i...
view the full question and answer

Identity of the mass fields of yellow flowers in North Texas
March 23, 2012 - Are the mass fields of yellow flowers we are seeing in north Texas now likely to be Indian Mustard (brassica juncea) or Charlock (brassica kaber or sinapis arvensis)? We are teaching a wildflower ide...
view the full question and answer

Grapevine at the Wildflower Center
November 05, 2013 - Hello :) I recently visited the Lady Bird Wildflower Center for Goblins in the Garden. I'm curious if you all know exactly what type of grape is growing in the back of the garden near the "Heali...
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

E-NEWSLETTER | BECOME A MEMBER | DONATE NOW | MEDIA | JOBS | SITEMAP | STAFF INTRANET
© 2016 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center