En Espa—ol

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

Propagation of Chandler's craglily from San Marcos TX
December 16, 2012 - Can you please advise me on collecting and propagating seed from Chandlerís craglily -Echeandia chandleri. I have 2 plants that came from the wildflower center. They never seem to multiply, but they d...
view the full question and answer

What kind of alcohol to use with Passiflora seeds?
March 12, 2010 - Hi, I read a question and answer related to gernmination of passiflora incarnata. You recommended a 5% alcohol/water solution to soak the seeds prior to sowing. I just want to make sure that you are...
view the full question and answer

Plants for Daisy Girl Scout native plants project
December 13, 2013 - Hello, I am a daisy Girl Scout leader and we are working on one of our Journeys and Native Plants Patch Program which requires our group of 5-6 year old girls to plant and care for a mini-garden. ...
view the full question and answer

No berries on dogwoods in GA
November 18, 2010 - I have 4 native dogwood trees. I have owned the property for 4 years. They have never produced berries. Can you tell me why? are the trees male and female, and could I have all males?
view the full question and answer

Care and propagation of American Beautyberry
July 20, 2007 - We have an American Beautyberry growing on our lot. Before we fenced the backyard it was browsed by deer, and survived by wedging itself between the fence and a juniper tree. How can we: 1. encou...
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