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 - June 07, 2013

From: Dallas, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Propagation, Wildflowers
Title: Proliferation of Small Palafoxia in Dallas Co. TX
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

A few years ago I noticed a new wildflower I hadn't seen before in the southwest Dallas County area. I found the name to be Small Palafoxia. It was growing along the edges of HWy 67 in Duncanville and on the edge of a field in Dallas not far from there. then I began noticing it in other places. This year there seem to be whole fields of it, and lots along the road. Has something changed to increase it in our area? just curious, because it seems to be taking over!

ANSWER:

According to this USDA Plant Profile Map, Palafoxia callosa (Small palafox) is native to Dallas County. The only odd thing is that our webpage on this plant show its bloom time to be August to November. From that webpage:

"Conditions Comments: Small palafoxia provides an airy accent to the fall prairie garden. Best grown in full sun and dry, gravelly soils to avoid rotting plant. Great reseeding annual for the xeric flower garden."

From our Image Gallery, we have provided you with pictures (below) that will help confirm your identification.

The truth is, Texas wildflowers bloom not where and when they are supposed to, but where and when they can get away with it. This is an annual and even the iconic bluebonnet, which is supposed to bloom only in March and April, will sometimes pop up in a wateredf yard in August or a sheltered sunny location in February. Here are the Growintg Conditions for Small Palafox:

"Growing Conditions

Water Use: Low
Light Requirement: Sun
Soil Moisture: Dry
Heat Tolerant: yes"

Our opinion is that the seeds, which may have been waiting in the ground for just the right moment, got some rain and popped up. They are annuals which means they propagate themselves prolifically, grow fast in order to bloom and make seeds and propagate again. They are a good wildlife flower, and we found no indication that they were invasive, so we suggest you just enjoy!

 

From the Image Gallery


Small palafox
Palafoxia callosa

Small palafox
Palafoxia callosa

Small palafox
Palafoxia callosa

More Wildflowers Questions

When to mow bluebonnets
May 12, 2005 - I have approx. 2 acres on the side and front of my house in Austin County. When can I mow the remaining high grass and not disturb the natural renewal? Also, I plan to purchase more bluebonnet seed ...
view the full question and answer

Source for seeds of Mexican primrose from Dallas
April 25, 2013 - Can I purchase Mexican Evening Primrose seeds now for planting in the fall or do I need to wait for the fresh crop of seeds that will be gathered from this spring flowering. How can I be assured the ...
view the full question and answer

Fragrant native plant to plant on rock wall in New York
May 28, 2007 - HELLO THERE, I LIVE IN CENTRAL NY. I WAS WONDERING IF YOU COULD SUGGEST A PLANT FOR THIS ROCK WALL ON THE SIDE OF MY HOME. IT IS A NATURAL ROCK WALL, SO BEAUTIFUL!! THE ROCK IS FLAT, ACTUALLY THE AREA...
view the full question and answer

Possible locations of fields of Forget-Me-Nots, Myosotis
March 04, 2006 - This might be kind of a weird question but me and my girlfriend have a really special thing with the forget me not wild flowers, and I will be asking her to marry me soon and would love to do it in a...
view the full question and answer

More on bluebonnets
August 26, 2004 - This year's strange summer weather has lead to a very unusual event. I have a second bloom on my Bluebonnet garden. I first noticed the blooms last week, and contacted my local nursery to confirm the...
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 | STAFF
© 2015 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center