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
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

Identity of grass-like plant with white or cream flowers in The Woodlands, TX?
May 16, 2015 - What is the name of the tall grass-like plant with small white or cream flowers that is planted in most esplanades in The Woodlands, TX.?
view the full question and answer

Plant identification
October 20, 2010 - Need to identify multi branched plant, feathery appearance, approx 6' tall stalks, grows in clusters. Tiny whitish/pink flowers at top of stems. Very similar in appearance to milfoil, only these grow...
view the full question and answer

Identification of cattail look-alike, except red
June 21, 2008 - I would like help identify the wildflowers growing beside the highways in my area so I can plant some at my house. We live in Sherwood Arkansas which is just north of Little Rock.The Highway where ...
view the full question and answer

Plant identification
June 17, 2011 - There is a sweet pea like vine that grows along the road in NC. IT is pink and looks much like a sweet pea. What is it?
view the full question and answer

Plant identification of Texas bullnettle (Cnidoscolus texanus)
September 15, 2009 - I'm trying to identify a small thorny plant that I found growing on our (previously undeveloped) dry lot in Hutto, Central Texas. It has small white flowers and green thorny bulbs. The leaves and st...
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.

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 | SITEMAP | STAFF
© 2015 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center