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
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

Plant identification
June 10, 2008 - Mr. Smarty Plants, My neighbor gave me a plant that is about 3 foot tall, has a main stalk, and leaves that produce small “baby” plants at the edge of the leaves. These plants grow roots and once dev...
view the full question and answer

Identification of volunteer tree
April 28, 2011 - I have a volunteer tree in my yard that has a mixture of serrated, non-serrated, and partially-serrated leaves on it. My tree identification guides all assume either serrated or non-serrated. How do...
view the full question and answer

Plant identification
May 12, 2012 - I don't know if they are native or not, My mom bought some plants at an event at the Dallas Convention Center that all had rocks and little dirt that they sat on. The bases of the plants were large a...
view the full question and answer

Plant identification
April 02, 2012 - I found a plant on a small island about the size of a hand. It is spring so plant is just coming out of the ground. It is wrapped around a bulb/flower light color with little knobs on it. The outsi...
view the full question and answer

Plant identification of tree with strawberry-like fruit
December 11, 2009 - On my walk home from work i noticed a red berry i had never seen before. It is soft like a strawberry, bumpy all over but the bumps are not individual as a raspberry has. It grows on a tall bush (very...
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
© 2014 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center