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?


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

Wednesday - May 02, 2012

From: San Marcos, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Herbs/Forbs
Title: Is Scutellaria suffrutescens native to Texas from San Marcos TX
Answered by: Barbara Medford


Is Scutellaria suffrutescens (Pink skullcap) a Texas native? I have found many conflicting answers and even seen it called Texas skullcap on sites that say it's native to Mexico. We will consider your answer the ultimate truth!! Thanks.


Nice going! You get the Stump Mr. Smarty Plants question of the week award. Actually, there is no award, but aren't you proud of getting a "gotcha"?

Neither our Native Plant Database nor the USDA Plant Database, which is our "ultimate authority" list this plant, at all. The USDA site lists plants native to the U.S., but has a notation of "I" for Introduced on those not certified as native to the U.S; they don't even have that information for this plant. It just isn't there. We did find the name in High Plains Gardening from Amarillo, TX. On the page on this plant is this statement:

"Suffrutescens means having a base that is somewhat woody and does not die down each year. This describes S. suffrutescens exactly."

There are a number of other plants that have suffrutescens species, but none of the genus Scutellaria. So, on a wild guess, we are thinking that maybe some plant grower or writer picked this name for Pink Texas skullcap, but it hasn't been recognized by the USDA. Or else it has been misspelled, but we tried several other spellings and got no hit.

From Learn 2 Grow, here is an article on Mexican Skullcap, which has this phrase in it:

"Recently introduced from the uplands of Mexico....."

Please don't make us the ultimate authority, that's scary. As far as we can see, it is suited to grow in Hays County, is an attractive plant but not invasive, and if you like it, go with it!



More Herbs/Forbs Questions

Plants for red clay in Hattiesburg, MS
May 16, 2011 - Looking for plants and flowers to plant in red clay?
view the full question and answer

Restoring tornado-damaged property in Alexander City AL
January 29, 2012 - Dear Mr Smartypants, We were struck by the outbreak of tornadoes last spring and our wonderful woods are now unsightly sloping pastures with erosion problems.. many stumps and coils of roots. We are...
view the full question and answer

Green wall panel for Dallas
August 21, 2007 - We are working on a green wall panel for a hotel near SMU--I see your list of recommended species for green roofs, & wondered if you have any ideas for vertical applications. Probably will have someth...
view the full question and answer

Low cost, low maintenance, water tolerants native plants for New Jersey
February 25, 2006 - I am planning a bed around my deck which will include shrubs and flowers. I am looking for plants that require a lot of water due to the wet soil conditions and poor drainage in my yard. Do you have...
view the full question and answer

Competition between Horseherb and Chickweed
July 04, 2014 - Ok, sorry I did it wrong the 1st time!? I live in Houston, and I have chickens! I also have mass amounts of Horseherb, and I want to buy some chickweed seeds and plant it for my chickens! My question ...
view the full question and answer

Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.
© 2015 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center