En EspaÑol

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
1 rating

Wednesday - July 25, 2012

From: Spring, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Propagation, Herbs/Forbs
Title: Accurate bloom time for Mistflower from Spring TX
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

Regarding Mistflower (Conoclinium coelestinum): Your site lists July to November as blooming time, while Wildflowers of Texas (Agilvsgi, Shearer Publishing, 2003) and Native Texas Plants (Wasowski, Lone Star Books, 1997), list bloom times as April to December. Which might be correct for my area, Spring, Texas, 77386, Zone 9A?

ANSWER:

You are correct on the dates from the various books and our websites. Marshall Enquist, author of Wildflowers of the Texas Hill Country says July to October. Without knowing exactly who entered the information in our Native Plant Database, we think that one number is as good as another. Personally, this member of the Mr. Smarty Plants Team feels that native plants start blooming when they have accumulated the energy to do so, in order to set seeds for their propagation, and stops when that energy is used up, or it has been very hot and dry, or the blooms get eaten. In more technical terms, when they are good and ready, and your guess is as good as anyone else's. Everyone researches, finds numbers or dates, and quotes that as the "right" time, but no one asks the plants.

As you will see from this USDA Plant Profile map  Conoclinium coelestinum (Blue mistflower) grows quite extensively in North America from Texas to Ontario, and from the middle of the nation to the East Coast. There are bound to be variations in bloom times, due to climate and rainfall in that large a space. Gardening in Harris County, which comes pretty close to being the southernmost area in Texas, we would say that the longer blooming time of April to December would be the most accurate. If however, you are planning on a beautiful bloom for a specific time (like a wedding), we would warn you to have a variety of types of plants, blooming, not blooming, shrubs, etc. in case the mistflowers didn't get their invitation to the affair.

 

From the Image Gallery


Blue mistflower
Conoclinium coelestinum

Blue mistflower
Conoclinium coelestinum

Blue mistflower
Conoclinium coelestinum

More Propagation Questions

Will potted tulip rebloom next year
May 18, 2008 - We bought tulips that were in bloom in small pots in May, and planted them in the back yard. Now my friend tells me they will not come up and bloom next spring, that you must only plant tulips as bul...
view the full question and answer

Western red cedar (Thuja plicata) frost tolerance, making cuttings
October 08, 2007 - Dear Madam or Sir, It would be very kind, if you could answer my questions about the “Thuja Plicata atrovirens” alias “Western Red Cedar”. I need the information because a good friend of mine ...
view the full question and answer

Why is non-native peach tree not going dormant in Owensville IN
December 19, 2011 - I have a peach tree I grew from a peach pit. It is about 2 years old. I planted the tree in my yard this summer. It is now about 3' tall. My problem is it is not going dormant. We have had several fr...
view the full question and answer

Century Plant
April 20, 2013 - I have a century plant that has just begun to bloom. I have a transplanted a few pups, successfully. I am wondering how I am to go about removing the mother plant once it blooms and dies. I'm reading...
view the full question and answer

Storing seed from Pickerel weed
October 28, 2005 - What's the best method to store seed from Pickerel weed (Pontederia cordata) and Arrowhead (Sagattaria latifolia)? Should it be kept wet?
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
© 2014 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center