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

Plant Identification
October 13, 2008 - We have 105 acres in Mid Michigan. Part of this land is marshland. There is a plant-flower that I have never seen before and no one knows what it is. It is on a long stem with long skinny leaves (2...
view the full question and answer

Plant identification of conifer-like low plant in Alabama
September 27, 2011 - When walking in woods of Alabama we found a plant that grows along the ground. looks like a conifer about 2 or 3 inches tall, has a trailing vine under the leaves and pops up little sprigs of greener...
view the full question and answer

Identification of Verbesina occidentalis (Yellow crownbeard) in Burnet County TX
November 23, 2015 - Looked up (small) yellow crownbeard..yellow, no description or pic. Csn you tell me if this is what is in this pic? THX! Can't insert a pic to say y/n. 😟it's in Burnet, Co..SE of Marble Fal...
view the full question and answer

Plant identification
June 07, 2011 - Please help me identify this volunteer plant in my back yard in Austin, TX. It has long thorns. Thank you.
view the full question and answer

Unusual vine in San Diego County, California
May 12, 2012 - Dear Mr. or Ms. Smarty Pants, I came across an unusual vine winding through a young Zumaque growing off the edge of a mesa in San Diego (coastal sage scrub). The small (fingernail-sized)leaves rough...
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