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?


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
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


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!


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

What is difference between Rhododendrons and Azaleas
April 23, 2008 - I am replanting my entire front yard as a native woodland garden (I am on Long Island, NY). I am having a hard time finding native rhododendrons and/or azaleas. I would prefer to remain true to the ...
view the full question and answer

Identification of tall dry, stalk plant in Central Texas
January 19, 2011 - I'm trying to identify a plant from my childhood in Central Texas, as I'd like to evaluate its potential as a biofuel crop. It is a stalk-plant, growing quite tall, 7-8' on average, with knobbed...
view the full question and answer

Plant identification
August 06, 2014 - I have a plant my kids got me, but I cant figure out what it is. It has long thick waxy leaves and instead of flowers the leaves at the top turn white. Do you know what it is?
view the full question and answer

Plant ID at Wildflower Center from Waco TX
June 18, 2012 - I was at the Center last weekend and no one was able to answer these two questions: 1. Where can I buy Silver Ponyfoot groundcover? 2. What is the name of the plant with coral blossoms in front of...
view the full question and answer

Plant Identification from Clarksville TN
May 04, 2013 - We live on a north facing wooded ridge line in Middle TN. I have a single large (6') bush that is blooming now (late April) with beautiful 6" long, end of stem clusters of small pink flowers in 3-5...
view the full question and answer

Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.
© 2015 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center