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
Not Yet Rated

Tuesday - April 25, 2006

From: Austin, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Plant Identification
Title: Differentiation between Amorpha roemeriana and A. fruticosa
Answered by: Nan Hampton

QUESTION:

How do I differentiate Amorpha roemeriana and A. fruticosa? Thank you.

ANSWER:

The description in the key in Correll & Johnston Manual of the Vascular Plants of Texas, 1970, p. 817, for False indigo (Amorpha fruticosa) says:

"Leaflets 8-18 (-22) mm. wide; calyx glabrous to variously pubescent. Leaves distinctly petiolate, the petioles 10 mm. long or more. Stalk of the leaflet inconspicuously glandular, if at all; calyx indistinctly glandular; flowering racemes 10-15 ( -20) cm. long."

The description for Roemer's indigo (Amorpha roemeriana) [called in Correll & Johnston by its synonym and former name, Amorpha texana] says:

"Leaflets (15- ) 20-30 mm. wide; calyx uniformly pubescent. Leaflets inconspicuously veined beneath; spikes of inflorescence 10-20 cm. long."

We have a botanical glossary to help with terms that may be confusing.

According to Shinners and Mahler's Illustrated Flora of North Central Texas A. fruticosa is widespread throughout Texas. The range as shown in "Atlas of the Vascular Plants of Texas" Vol. 1 (B. L. turner et al., 2003, Botanical Research Institute of Texas) A. roemeriana has a very small range in Central Texas from Mason, Burnet and Travis Counties in the north to Uvalde and Real in the southwest. There is a small overlap to their ranges.

There are more detailed descriptions of both plants in Correll & Johnston, copies of which can be found at the Faulk Central Library in Austin and in the Life Science Library at the University of Texas.

 

More Plant Identification Questions

Removing faded flowers from plants in Georgetown, DE
July 28, 2012 - I bought a chamase rose quartz that was in bloom. now the buds are dead, should i remove them or just leave them on the plant. they wont just fall off. and the tips of the plant has new growth.
view the full question and answer

Recognizing poison ivy
June 20, 2007 - I am having a difficult time identifying poison ivy. It seems so many plants look like poison ivy can you help me I don't want to kill everything but on the same hand I don't want to itch. Thanks f...
view the full question and answer

Differences between Desmodium and Lespedezda
June 19, 2014 - i am trying to determine the difference between lespedeza and desmodium in my full sun wildflower and tall grasses meadow. There appear to be a number of different types of these plants, and they are...
view the full question and answer

Mystery tree with yellow fruit in MN
November 12, 2012 - There is a tree at my workplace, about 8' tall, with small, pea-sized yellow berries right now (Oct. 2012). The berries are attractive to Cedar Waxwings, and the tree has small leaves that are simple...
view the full question and answer

Plant identification
August 28, 2008 - Hello. There is a plant growing next to my 4 o'clocks that I didn't plant which is almost the same height as them, but has different leaves and it grows wider. It has these huge light green upside d...
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.
E-NEWSLETTER | BECOME A MEMBER | DONATE NOW | MEDIA | SITEMAP | STAFF
© 2015 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center