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

Saturday - August 02, 2014

From: Breckenridge, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Plant Identification
Title: Plant identification of orange-flowered plant with portulaca-like leaves
Answered by: Nan Hampton

QUESTION:

As a last resort, I'm asking you. The plant identification page has not been helpful. Recently moved to Breckenridge, Texas and found several plants with 5 petaled orange flowers in the pasture. Lots of branches on each 10 in. plant, but has almost portulaca leaves. I don't know if it's a wildflower or something the previous owner may have planted. Flowers or about 3/4 in. across. I dug them up to move closer to house and the roots are like tubers. I'm stumped!

ANSWER:

Here is my best guess as to what your orange-flowered plant is—Phemeranthus aurantiacus (Orange flameflower).  Its leaves look like those of portulaca plants—indeed, it is in the Family Portulacaceae (Purslane Family)—and it has a fleshy tuber-like root. The USDA Plants Database distribution map shows it occurring in Stephens County.

If that isn't your plant, here are a couple of other possibilities.

Sphaeralcea hastulata (Spear globemallow)

Portulaca umbraticola (Wingpod purslane)  Here are photos of this plant with orange flowers from Desert Tropicals and Southeastern Arizona Wildflowers.

If none of these is your plant, then try our Plant Identification page again where you will find links to several plant identification forums that accept photos of plants for identification.   I recommend the one on the UBC Botanical Garden Forums page.

 

From the Image Gallery


Orange flameflower
Phemeranthus aurantiacus

Orange flameflower
Phemeranthus aurantiacus

Spear globemallow
Sphaeralcea hastulata

Wingpod purslane
Portulaca umbraticola

More Plant Identification Questions

Identification of plant growing in Plumbago
August 01, 2007 - Help - I have a strange looking plant that recently shot up in a potted Plumbago. I planted the Plumbago in its pot with Miracle Gro potting soil, and have been fertilizing with Miracle Gro as well. ...
view the full question and answer

Plant identification from Griffin, GA
July 05, 2010 - We live in Georgia and we found a mystery plant growing next to our garage. It is a short tree with non-waxy, oblong, dark green leaves. The fruit or berries are not clustered and start out green but...
view the full question and answer

Plant Identification
April 01, 2009 - I have small shiny red berries growing on a tropical appearing shrub with green and marled yellow leaves. The leaves have widely serrated edges. The berries have a large seed inside and very little fl...
view the full question and answer

Mystery dill-type weed
September 01, 2008 - My daughter has a weed growing in her flower bed that look very simular to dill weed, but thicker. If you pinch it, it has a sticky milky substance come out. Can you tell me what this plant may be? ...
view the full question and answer

Mystery tree in Ontario
July 06, 2011 - I found a tree (similar to an apple tree in blossom) in a shaded area by a stream on our property. I have never seen anything like it. It is again, like an apple branch with the blossoms, however, t...
view the full question and answer

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