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
Not Yet Rated

Monday - March 20, 2006

From: Greensboro, NC
Region: Southwest
Topic: Plant Identification
Title: Assistance in photographing Turnera diffusa in Rio Grande Valley
Answered by: Nan Hampton and Dean Garrett

QUESTION:

Do you know where I can photograph a specimen of Turnera diffusa Willd. ex J.A. Schultes var. aphrodisiaca? I'll be in Texas in May and it is on my list to try and locate. I understand it grows in Zapata and Starr counties. Thank you!

ANSWER:

Turnera diffusa var. aphrodisiaca grows wild in Texas only in the Rio Grande Valley, its range not extending much beyond the two counties you mention. There are reports of it occurring in Starr, Zapata, Hidalgo, Cameron, Jim Hogg, and Jim Wells counties.

Here are some contacts who may be able to help you locate specimens to photograph:

Christina Mild, a nature writer and biologist living in the Valley, has photographed and written about many of the native plants of the region, including Turnera diffusa var. aphrodisiaca.

Mike Heep, a prominent South Texas native plant nurseryman, is mentioned in the Christina Mild article as having propagated the plant.

Phillip Schappert, a biologist with the University of Texas at Austin, has photographed the plant growing in Starr County west of Roma, near where FM 650 meets US 83. Though he doesn't live in the Valley, he may be able to give you directions to the plants he photographed.

You might also try contacting the Native Plant Project, which advocates the preservation and propagation of plants native to the lower Rio Grande Valley.

Good luck.

 

More Plant Identification Questions

Plant identification
September 30, 2010 - My husband brought home a plant which I have not been able to id. It is a bush, has 2 ovate to ellipse leaves, whorled, with 4 (2 pairs) smooth thin skinned (you can see white veins under the skin rad...
view the full question and answer

Plant identification
July 07, 2008 - I live in NE PA and have two plants that are growing under our pine tree. One has 2 leaves and and looks a lot like lily of the valley and the other has 6-10 leaves with white berries on the end. I wa...
view the full question and answer

Plant identification
June 27, 2011 - I have a plant my Dad had found years ago. Last of April a stem with bulb shaped bottom. May 6-stem opened and folded back exposing spotted inside of leaf. Bottom had yellow pollen? and green stem 2+ ...
view the full question and answer

Dodder
April 06, 2012 - I have seen patches of Bluebonnets that are covered with a stringy,rubbery,orange substance that seems to be choking out the particular patch. It wraps itself around the flowers,completely covering th...
view the full question and answer

Plant Identification
June 23, 2011 - I live in Alaska and have TEENY cute 5 petaled white flowers growing on my lawn. They are very short, maybe 2 inches in height. The flower is about 1/2 inch wide. They look like a perfect tiny daisy. ...
view the full question and answer

Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.
E-NEWSLETTER | BECOME A MEMBER | DONATE NOW | MEDIA | JOBS | SITEMAP | STAFF INTRANET
© 2016 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center