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
1 rating

Thursday - April 12, 2012

From: Kerrville, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: General Botany, Plant Identification
Title: Seeds of Castilleja purpurea
Answered by: Nan Hampton

QUESTION:

The seed photo for Castilleja purpurea is incorrect; seeds are black and poppyseed size.

ANSWER:

Minnette Marr with the Wildflower Center Seed Bank has assured me that the photo correctly shows the seeds of Castilleja purpurea (Prairie paintbrush).  The photo shows them with a netlike covering that is described by Correll and Johnson in Manual of the Vascular Plants of Texas, p. 1439.  The description reads:

"...seeds numerous, the testa loose and alveaolately reticulate."

The testa is the seed coat and, being loosely attached, easily comes off the seed.   You will note the scale bar with the photo that is 10 millimeters (mm) long—about the width of a dime.  The seeds with the testa measure about 2 mm; and, you can see that with the testa missing they would be about 1.5 mm and they appear dark, if not black.  That is not too different in size and color from that of a sesame seed.

 

From the Image Gallery


Prairie paintbrush
Castilleja purpurea

Prairie paintbrush
Castilleja purpurea

More General Botany Questions

Smarty Plants on aceae
March 21, 2005 - How is the family suffix "-aceae", as in Asteraceae, pronounced? I find disagreeing claims in my searches- "ay-see-ee" and "ay-see-ay" seem to be the most common, but I've also seen just "ay-...
view the full question and answer

Manzanita struggling in CA
March 01, 2012 - I live in Monterey, CA and I have had a manzanita (either Dr. Hurd or Mt. Hood) growing successfully in my yard for about 4 years. This fall all the leaves turned brown and brittle. I am not sure if d...
view the full question and answer

More information on plants native to Taylor County TX
February 13, 2012 - Re: Thursday - September 15, 2011 QUESTION: Am looking for direction to a complete list of plants native to the Abilene, Taylor County, Texas area (trees, shrubs, grasses, cacti and other plants ...
view the full question and answer

Determining male/female wax myrtles
March 06, 2009 - We are planning to use Wax Myrtle as a screen plant, and want to be sure that we are successful in having berries for the birds. We have read that berries are only on the female plants. When we aske...
view the full question and answer

How does Styrax youngiae differ from other Texas Styrax species?
August 18, 2013 - How does the Styrax youngae differ from other Texas styrax? Where can I find a description of all the Texas styrax trees?
view the full question and answer

Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.

Bibliography

Manual of the Vascular Plants of Texas (1979) Correll, D. S. & M. C. Johnston

Search More Titles in Bibliography

E-NEWSLETTER | BECOME A MEMBER | DONATE NOW | MEDIA | SITEMAP | STAFF
© 2016 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center