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

Saturday - April 21, 2012

From: Granger, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Herbs/Forbs
Title: Correct size for Wright penstemon from Granger TX
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

The Wright penstemon pictured as your main plant, looks nothing like the other pictures below it. I realize, they can be pink or red. But the LARGE speciman out in your gardens is nowhere near the 1-2 foot height that you specify. Is the tag marking that enormous plant wrong? Or should you adjust the size that you have listed for this plant. I think I bought one, and I'm just trying to determine where to put it, depending on size. thanks! PS This was my first Wildflower Center visit for the show this weekend. Great!!!

ANSWER:

We are so glad you enjoyed your first visit to the Wildflower Center. Come back for many more.

We are a little puzzled about your mention of a large specimen of Penstemon wrightii (Wright's beardtongue) in our Gardens. We searched our Wildflower Center Master Taxa List but did not find the plant listed. That doesn't really signify, lists get out of date. Please follow the plant link above to our webpage on this plant. You are correct, that webpage refers to height range as 1-3 ft. Another source, Mountain States Wholesale Nursery, mentions "topping out at 4 ft." We can tell you it is a full sun plant, and a perennial, which means it will spread and can be divided or trimmed back as necessary. It also does not require much water. If it is, indeed, growing in our Gardens, it is probably being treated appropriately for its natural conditions and is just large and happy.

Here are the two pictures of this plant that we have in our Image Gallery. From the website Wild About Penstemon, more information.

We have to admit we have not specifically answered your question. This particular member of the Mr. Smarty Plants team is a volunteer living close to the Wildflower Center, and I worked on the Plant Sale. Unfortunately, I don't remember laying eyes either on the plant in the Gardens to which you referred, nor in the Sale. As we have already mentioned, we recommend it be planted in full sun (6 hours or more of sun daily) and not in an area heavily watered.

 

More Herbs/Forbs Questions

Mystic Spires salvia in transplant shock
July 04, 2008 - Hello. I live in Taylor, Tx. Just outside Austin, Texas. I recently planted mystic spires. One gallons and will receive the hot afternoon sun. All the research says they can tolerate this location. Th...
view the full question and answer

Growing non-native daylilies from Albuquerque
May 05, 2013 - Need some tips on planting daylilies in the Northeast heights of Albuquerque. I've amended clay soil with cottonbur mulch/compost mix and added gypsum. Can I do anything else to ensure growing succes...
view the full question and answer

Small area native plant gardening for an apartment
November 14, 2008 - Mr.Smarty, We live in an apartment and are fortunate to have a small area, 5'x5', and so want color! Here in Houston the winters don't freeze much and the summers are HOT. Luckily, we are in the ...
view the full question and answer

Native Plants for a Steep Slope in TN
July 15, 2014 - Hello, I live in Knoxville, TN and have a very steep slope in our backyard. There is a lot of water erosion causing our grass to be covered with red dirt. I would love to try to plant something on thi...
view the full question and answer

Is Lycopodium digitatum native to South Carolina?
December 27, 2012 - Is Lycopodium digitatum native to SC; do you know if it's available in SC nurseries?
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