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

Wednesday - October 04, 2006

From: Austin, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: General Botany, Shrubs
Title: Mechanism for Cenizo bush blooming before rain
Answered by: Nan Hampton

QUESTION:

Why does cenizo (aka barometer bush) bloom before it rains?

ANSWER:

There are plenty of references to Cenizo/Barometer Bush/Texas Sage/Texas Ranger (Leucophyllum frutescens) blooming in response to rain and/or high humidty; however, I have not been able to find any information about the mechanism for this response. Texas A&M's Plant Answers is also clueless about why this happens. It seems logical to think that if rain provides water for the root system to take up, the plant would respond by blooming. The mechanism for triggering the plant to bloom simply from high humidty is a little harder to imagine, but perhaps the leaf stomata are able to take in enough moisture to also elicit the flowering response.

 

More Shrubs Questions

Shrub or tree for large pot in Austin
May 18, 2010 - I have a front-door entryway that faces east, what 3-4 foot shrub/tree would best survive in a large pot? Thanks!
view the full question and answer

Native plants for heavy clay soil in east Austin
May 02, 2007 - I live in East Austin and have very thick clay soil on my property. I also have a lot of shade and partial sun/shade. Can you suggest some native plant varieties that are well-adapted to these condi...
view the full question and answer

Comments on white-flowered Mountain Laurel from Austin
December 23, 2012 - Following up on the August 23, 2012, question from Driftwood about the white-flowering mountain laurel, I have found a few more leads to explore. First, there are four more images of white-flowering m...
view the full question and answer

East Texas Natives and Botanical History
May 05, 2011 - I am looking for flowers &/or flowering shrubs that are native to east Texas, especially that would have been in this area over 100 or more years ago.
view the full question and answer

Mountain laurel planting over Frederickburg limestone
March 22, 2012 - We have rocky limestone shelves on our property. We want to plant a mountain laurel. Are the roots strong enough to break through the limestone or should we try to find another location? The limestone...
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