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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.

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Ask Mr. Smarty Plants is a free service provided by the staff and volunteers at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center.

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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!

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Wednesday - May 02, 2012

From: Austin, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Shrubs
Title: White blooms on Rose Pavonia from Austin
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

Hi Mr. Smarty Plants, I've planted my entire South Austin garden with natives from your excellent recommendations and I wanted to thank you, the garden is just beautiful! So here is my question, this morning as I strolled around I noticed one of my stunning Rock Rose, pavonoa lasiopetala, has not only rose colored blooms but full white as well. This particular plant is a volunteer from seed. I've read all the descriptions on Rock Rose and have not seen mention of white blooms. Just curious, is the white bloom normal? It is definitely a treat and I look forward to it seeding out!

ANSWER:

That is the kind of comment we love to hear. Until they hear about this kind of results from real gardeners, many people don't believe that the use of natives is the way to go. Thank you!

In answer to your question, no, this is not normal to have a white flower on Pavonia lasiopetala (Rock rose). We looked at several sources and they all cited pink flowers. However, (there is always an "however") when we went to our Image Gallery, we found several pictures with white flowers on this plant. So, we're thinking someone found a Rose Pavonia with white flowers, took pictures of it, and submitted the pictures for our Gallery. Or the lighting could have been bad, who knows? The point is, we would suggest that if you wish to see more of that particular color, that you propagate that bush by softwood cuttings, rather than seeds, to have a better chance of repetition.

 

From the Image Gallery


Rock rose
Pavonia lasiopetala

Rock rose
Pavonia lasiopetala

Rock rose
Pavonia lasiopetala

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