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?


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


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!


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

Will maroon and Texas Bluebonnets prosper in Richland MO?
July 02, 2013 - I live in Richland, MO and have obtained both Maroon and Texas Bluebonnet seeds from Fredricksburg, TX. Will they prosper in this area and when is the best time to plant? I have read how and what type...
view the full question and answer

When is a good time to visit the Center
March 14, 2004 - When is a good time to visit the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center to see the wildflowers?
view the full question and answer

Grasses and wildflowers for Central Texas
December 29, 2008 - I live between Bastrop and Paige and would like to know native grasses or types of wildflowers I can plant now. thank you
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

Viability and storage of bluebonnet seeds past "use by" date
April 26, 2006 - I have several packets of Bluebonnet seeds and wildflower seeds which have "packed for 2006 use by 3/07". My questions: 1) will these seeds be good for the 2007 growing season?; 2) how should I ...
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.
© 2015 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center