Rent Shop Volunteer Join

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

Use of native non-vascular plants from Pisgah Forest NC
February 11, 2011 - Dear Mr. Smarty Plants, Some of the smartest native plants around to use as horticultural choices don't require any chemical fertilizers, pesticides or herbicides; tolerate extreme weather including ...
view the full question and answer

Forestiera pubescens blooming in July
August 07, 2012 - I have a lot of what appears to be Forestiera pubescens. They are covered with the dark blue/black berries and flowers. Apparently they are blooming again in the middle of July. I live about 35 mile...
view the full question and answer

Are Prunus minutiflora male and female flowers on different plants?
March 12, 2014 - I have a Prunus minutiflora and have recently learned the male and female flowers are on separate plants. How can I determine if I have a male or female plant?
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

Will lead accumulate in the flower nectar of plants used for phytoremediation
January 16, 2009 - I'm attempting to phytoremediate lead in my garden with mustard and/or sunflowers. I also keep bees. I understand that lead is sequestered in roots and stalks. Would the nectar also be contaminate...
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