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
1 rating

Monday - April 15, 2013

From: London, Other
Region: California
Topic: Non-Natives, Plant Identification
Title: Identification of red/yellow/black flower in California
Answered by: Nan Hampton

QUESTION:

Plant found, April Mount Diablo CA 6 symmetrical petals red with a pattern of a yellow flower with black edge in the centre, I can not identify, please help.

ANSWER:

Your description sounds like Sparaxis tricolor (Harlequin flower or wandflower), in the Family Iridaceae (Iris Family).  It is not native to California, nor of North America (our area of expertise), but is a native of Africa—a garden escapee that has become naturalized in California.

Here are more photos and information from Calflora, Pacific Bulb Society, CalPhotos Berkeley and eFloras.org.

 

More Non-Natives Questions

Locating ruda plants in Florida
January 24, 2009 - Where I can find or who sells Ruda plants? in the Miami, Florida area ?
view the full question and answer

Disposal of non-native invasive Houttuynia cordata
August 08, 2007 - I am a homeower in The Woodlands with a very difficult problem in my butterfly garden. I have an impossibly invasive weed that I cannot get rid of -- so much so that I'm thinking of just paving ov...
view the full question and answer

Availability of non-native Elijah blue fescue
June 01, 2007 - I'm looking for Elijah blue fescue. Do you sell?
view the full question and answer

Lantana in hanging basket not blooming in Dover PA
June 23, 2010 - We have a lantana Bandana trailing gold in a hanging planter in full sun. It hardly blooms. Any suggestions?
view the full question and answer

Will non-native Star Jasmine survive outside in winter in Ohio
October 27, 2008 - Hi! I have two Star Jasmine in pots (we brought them back to southern Ohio from CA this year). Should we bring them inside for the winter? Would they do okay outside next winter if we plant them in...
view the full question and answer

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