En Español

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?


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

Sunday - May 19, 2013

From: Fredericksburg, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Diseases and Disorders, Pests, Herbs/Forbs
Title: Problems with Gregg's mistflower from Fredericksburg, TX
Answered by: Barbara Medford


Dear Mr. Smarty Plants: Something is wilting the tops of my Gregg's mistflower, Conoclinium greggii. I cannot see bugs on the plant, so I am wondering if it's a disease. The problem is widespread to three separate stands of the plant. I am hoping to hear that others who have had a similar issue know how to correct this problem on what has generally been a problem-free plant. Thank.


Mr. Smarty Plants is not a forum but a team of Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower volunteers who answer questions on plants native to North America and to the area in which those plants evolved. We did search in our Previously Answered Questions to see if we had any similar comments on Conoclinium greggii (Gregg's mistflower). We found this previous question that addressed a similar problem. You will note from this USDA Plant Profile Map  that it is native only to Hudspeth County, deep in West Texas and about a half a state away from Gillespie County. That doesn't mean it won't grow in Centtral Texas, certainly it does, but it is basically a desert plant and requires very good drainage iin the soil. From our webpage on this plant:

"Native Distribution: W. TX to s.e. AZ & adjacent Mex.
Native Habitat: Frequent along stream beds and overflow areas in the Trans-Pecos, east to Edwards Plateau and Rio Grande Plains. Sand, loam, clay or limestone. Seasonally flooded stream beds; plains; overflow areas"

We would first suggest you take another look at the blooms with the possibility of whiteflies on the blooms, as discussed in our previously answered question above. Also, make sure the roots of your plant are not standing in soggy soil, and particularly that you are not sprinkling it from above.


From the Image Gallery

Gregg's mistflower
Conoclinium greggii

Gregg's mistflower
Conoclinium greggii

More Herbs/Forbs Questions

Wildflowers in Bloom in Hudson Valley NY in July
May 19, 2015 - We are hosting a rustic wedding on July 11, and we would like to decorate with wildflowers. We live in rural NY state, in the Mid-Hudson Valley, and there are many sites from which to pick wildflowers...
view the full question and answer

Propagation of Baptisia from Lancaster OH
August 24, 2012 - My Baptisia has gone to seed. When can I plant these seeds? Do they need strat? (zone 5)
view the full question and answer

Invasive thistles in wildflower field from Dripping Springs TX
February 17, 2014 - How to get rid of "native" thistles.. I have a large natural field that used to grow a variety of wildflowers, but in 2011 and 2012 it was taken over by thistles. I'm sure they are "native" Texas...
view the full question and answer

Weeds from neighbor's yard are a problem.
May 11, 2015 - Our neighbor has let his front yard go wild. Many of these native wild plants are very invasive. How can I stop their spreading into our yard? There are too many to try & keep up with pulling them as ...
view the full question and answer

Native plants that are dog-proof in South Texas
July 13, 2008 - I live in Odem, Texas and would like to use only native plants in my front and backyard. I have two puppies who love to dig. What plants should I use that require minimal attention from me and will no...
view the full question and answer

Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.
© 2016 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center