Contact Us Host an Event Volunteer Join

Support the plant database you love!

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

Tuesday - April 29, 2014

From: Mission, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Non-Natives, Butterfly Gardens, Herbs/Forbs
Title: Growth rate of non-native Asclepias curassavica
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

As a volunteer at the National Butterfly center, I wonder how long from starting the seeds until the plant reaches approximately 20 cm tall does it take a tropical milkweed (asclepias curassavica) to grow assuming 60 degree nights or above? Thank you

ANSWER:

There are a couple of things we need to let you know. The first is that this member of the Mr. Smarty Plants Team does not speak metric, and must blushingly concede that she has not the slightest idea how tall is 20 cm?

The second thing is that the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center, home of Mr. Smarty Plants, is dedicated to the growth, propagation and protection of plants native not only to North America but to the area in which they are to be grown; in your case, Hidalgo County, in the very southern tip of Texas. Ascepias curassavica,Tropical Milkweed, is therefore not in our Native Plant Database but is native to South America, and there is some controversy about using it in feeder areas for the Monarch Butterfly, according to this article from the Texas Butterfly Ranch.

 

More Herbs/Forbs Questions

Propagation of Simsia calva from Albuquerque NM
January 27, 2014 - Hi - I was given some simsia calva seed from the LBJ wildflower center. It doesn't have a lot of info about starting the seeds, so any help is much appreciated! I tried starting some outdoors last ye...
view the full question and answer

Perennial poppies for Salt Lake City
January 21, 2010 - What are the best poppies, perennial if possible, to plant in Salt Lake City, Utah?
view the full question and answer

Plants for a mixed border in Houston
February 22, 2010 - I live in Houston and have a flowerbed I'd like to fill with plants that will look good year-round. The back is already lined with 6-foot shrubs so nothing like that. I'd like something with colorf...
view the full question and answer

Making a pollinator garden
August 11, 2014 - Hello, I have a ditch right by my house and I want to turn it into a pollinator garden using native plants. My problem is, right now it's so full of weeds that we have to mow those down so soon. For ...
view the full question and answer

Are there drug cartels on the bluebonnet trails from Lake City FL
February 08, 2012 - We plan to fly to TX to see bluebonnets but do not know if the weather and forest fires have destroyed them. If not, can you estimate the peak bloom time? We are 75 and 81 and move around rather s...
view the full question and answer

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