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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.

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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.

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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!

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Saturday - December 18, 2010

From: Boerne, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Seeds and Seeding, Herbs/Forbs
Title: How does Asclepias asperula (antelope horns) respond to fire
Answered by: Nan Hampton and Mark Simmons

QUESTION:

From your experience with prairie burns, how does Asclepias asperula (antelope horns) respond to fire? Thanks.

ANSWER:

Mr. Smarty Plants asked the Wildflower Center's research ecologist, Dr. Mark Simmons, about the response of Asclepias asperula (Antelope horns) to fire and this is what he said:

"We have observed that the ripe fruits will pop open immediately after fire and disperse their seed across the charred landscape. Not sure if this is incipient adaptation to fire, but it is a very interesting response."

Since they weren't tested we can't tell you for sure whether those seeds were viable or if the plants resprouted from the same roots.  However, Mark says that he suspects that they both are viable.

 

From the Image Gallery


Arkansas yucca
Yucca arkansana

Antelope horns
Asclepias asperula

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