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?

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
Not Yet Rated

Friday - September 07, 2012

From: Austin, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Plant Identification
Title: Identity of plant that smells like passion fruits at Westcave
Answered by: Nan Hampton

QUESTION:

Green greetings! I saw a plant in the canyon at Westcave Preserve last weekend. They are small bushes with elliptic leaves. They are impressive because the leaves smell like passion fruits. Do you have any idea about it? Thank you and keep up the great work.

ANSWER:

My best guess is that you are talking about one of the Croton species.  All species of Croton have fragrant foliage and I suppose they could be described as smelling like passionfruits.   Because I've worked with the team that has done several plant surveys at Westcave Preserve, I know that there are three species of Croton there:

Croton fruticulosus (Bush croton).  Here are more photos from the Archive of Central Texas Plants from the School of Biological Sciences at the University of Texas and from Flora of Dolan Falls Preserve in Val Verde County, Texas.

Croton monanthogynus (Prairie tea).  Here are more photos in the Archive of Central Texas Plants from the School of Biological Sciences at the University of Texas and from Flora of Dolan Falls Preserve in Val Verde County, Texas.

Croton texensis (Texas croton).  Here are more photos in Eastern Colorado Wildflowers and from Kansas Wildflowers & Grasses.

If you have a photo of it, you can compare it to the photos from the different species to decide which one you have seen.

 

From the Image Gallery


Bush croton
Croton fruticulosus

Bush croton
Croton fruticulosus

Prairie tea
Croton monanthogynus

Prairie tea
Croton monanthogynus

Texas croton
Croton texensis

Texas croton
Croton texensis

More Plant Identification Questions

Plant ID in Woodbury TN
July 07, 2009 - Please help identify this unusual plant. I am in Middle TN, Cannon County. This plant comes up every year and looks like something tropical. It has huge leaves about 16 + inches wide. and grows abo...
view the full question and answer

Identity of vine in New York
September 30, 2013 - Hey there. I've recently found a "Wild Cucumber" vine in my backyard, which has been taking over our electric fence. Now I've stumbled across another very similar vine. They fruits are clustere...
view the full question and answer

Plant identification
July 07, 2008 - I live in NE PA and have two plants that are growing under our pine tree. One has 2 leaves and and looks a lot like lily of the valley and the other has 6-10 leaves with white berries on the end. I wa...
view the full question and answer

Mystery tree in Ontario
July 06, 2011 - I found a tree (similar to an apple tree in blossom) in a shaded area by a stream on our property. I have never seen anything like it. It is again, like an apple branch with the blossoms, however, t...
view the full question and answer

Identification of small plant with lavendar flower
May 07, 2011 - I have something growing in my yard and pasture that for some odd reason is growing all over the place. I never noticed it being this abundant before. I'm not sure if it's listed as a wild flower or...
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