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
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

QUESTION:

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.

ANSWER:

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

Propagation of Texas sage from Bastrop, TX
March 01, 2013 - Am I wasting my time trying to transplant texas sage runners? Any advice?
view the full question and answer

Overwintering Ruellia brittoniana in Missouri
October 03, 2015 - I live in Missouri and have five beautiful Mexican Petunia or Ruellia brittoniana planted and established in my landscaping. With winter fast approaching, I would love advise on how to winterize the p...
view the full question and answer

Landscaping with native plants in Austin
October 06, 2005 - I'm expanding a flower bed in front of my house and would like to keep it all natives. 1) How do I find out what type of soil I should add? (I live near Hyde Park, Austin and haven't had a soil te...
view the full question and answer

Soil for native Chilopsis linearis and Salvia greggii
February 08, 2010 - I want to plant a desert willow and a salvia greggii in my small lot. The developer used sandy loam to fill in the small garden in the front. I am 73 and a bit impaired. Do I really need to remove ...
view the full question and answer

Dwarf oyster plant dying in Sunrise FL
July 06, 2012 - WHAT WOULD BE KILLING MY DWARF OYSTER PLANTS
view the full question and answer

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