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

Tuesday - February 05, 2013

From: Tucson, AZ
Region: Southwest
Topic: Plant Identification
Title: Identification of plant with red beans Catalina Mts., Arizona
Answered by: Nan Hampton

QUESTION:

While hiking at the base of the Catalina Mts. near Tucson in Jan., I came across a plant, the pods of which were open, displaying a bright red bean. I took some of the beans to plant in my yard. I was wondering if you could tell me what plant this is? Thank you.

ANSWER:

On the Catalina State Park web page under "Science" I was able to find a link to a list of Plants of Catalina State Park.  Your description of a plant with pods and red beans led me to the Family Fabaceae (Pea Family) on the list.  From that list, I think the most likely candidate is Erythrina flabelliformis (Chilicote).  Here are photos and more information from Southeastern Arizona Wildflowers and from the Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum.

For future reference, if you are asking for an identification, it would be helpful to have more information about the size and type of plant.  For instance, did the beans come from a woody plant or an herbaceous one?  What was the size of the plant?  Was it a small tree or a shrub?  Did it have leaves?   If so, what did they look like?  Did the plant have thorns or any other unusual features?

 

More Plant Identification Questions

Differentiating between Spiraea betulifolia and Spiraea japonica
April 12, 2005 - How can I tell the difference between Spiraea betulifolia var. corymbosa (an imperiled species) and Spiraea japonica (an invasive species) in the wild? They both seem to be the same size, color, habi...
view the full question and answer

Plant identification, possibly Datura
September 07, 2007 - I have a wide green-leafed plant that has white flowers. This plant also has some thorny fruits in the shape of mines that float on the ocean. At the moment it is 2 feet high. I'm beginning to wo...
view the full question and answer

Plant Identification from Honolulu HI
April 24, 2014 - We have a ground cover in our Honolulu garden that I have been told is Watermelon Plant. (Not the fruit). We would like more, but cannot find it or the proper name for it. Aprox. 6" round leaf. It...
view the full question and answer

Identification of plant, possibly giant ragweed (Ambrosia trifida)
January 30, 2008 - I am trying to identify a weed that was prevalant where I grew up in North Central Texas. It grows in low spots and along creeks. It has woody stalks with short spines, grows 3'- 6' tall, the leaves...
view the full question and answer

Plant identification
August 07, 2014 - there is a plant in our yard...I believe it to be in the seed phase..it has 3 or 5 pointed leaves topped with a green fuzzy ball then another set of leaves and a green fuzzy ball..this is continued a...
view the full question and answer

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