Host an Event Volunteer Join Tickets

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
Not Yet Rated

Sunday - June 08, 2014

From: Austin, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Diseases and Disorders, Herbs/Forbs
Title: Problems with Copper Canyon Daisy from Austin
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

We had 3 copper canyon daisies. Two of them bloomed profusely last year, but only one has come back this spring. We cut them all back as instructed. When it was clear that two were not coming back, we pulled one of them and the roots seemed very much alive, but the above-ground wood was clearly dead. Why?

ANSWER:

Tagetes lemmonii  (Copper Canyon Daisy) is not listed in our Native Plant Database. This USDA Plant Profile Map shows it (with the plant code TALE) growing natively in Arizona. Searching the Internet on "Copper Canyon Daisy" we found this site from the Native Plant Society of Texas.

From that website, we noted this information:

"Commonly, Copper Canyon daisy blooms in both spring and fall. The main flowering period, however, is in late fall."

Just taking a guess, we are thinking that perhaps with the late severe cold snaps we had in Austin, that perhaps the upper part of the plant froze. The roots were protected by the warmth of the Earth, and just hadn't gotten around to pumping sap with nutrition and moisture up into the visible part of the plant. Plants will do that to protect themselves; if the roots freeze, the plant will die because it can no longer get that transfusion of nutrients that the roots have been saving for it. You did the right thing to trim off the upper part in the Fall last year but just jumped the gun a little this year expecting upper-plant growth.

From Floridata, here is more information on the reaction of this plant to cold weather.

 

More Herbs/Forbs Questions

Heirloom plants for Gault Homestead in Austin
April 15, 2009 - Dear Mr. Smarty Plants, The Gault Homestead at 2106 Klattenhoff in the middle of Wells Branch Subdivision is to be planted with heirloom or heritage plants soon. There is some sun for the planter bo...
view the full question and answer

Unknown ailment of Turk's cap in northeast Texas
July 01, 2013 - I just moved from the Dallas area to Emory in the north east part. I brought two young Turk's cap plants in pots. I had to leave the mother plant behind. The tops have a very curled and shrunken a...
view the full question and answer

Where can white prickly poppy be viewed en mass from Baton Rouge LA?
January 16, 2013 - Does the center feature the native White Prickly Poppy? When is prime blooming season? Can you give me some specific locations in the area where the plant can be seen en mass and photographed? Thank...
view the full question and answer

Need perennials for front beds in south-facing house ib San Angelo, TX.
February 12, 2012 - What perennials will work in my front beds of southern facing house in West Texas?
view the full question and answer

Plants for a pool fence in Ohio
October 28, 2010 - I live in Ohio and have a pool with a white vinyl fence. Each year I plant sunflowers around it, but they are so messy when the birds/bees find them. Previously I planted castor beans, however, they...
view the full question and answer

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