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

Monday - May 07, 2007

From: Austin, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Plant Identification, Shrubs
Title: Desert or littleleaf sumac (Rhus microphylla) on Texas State Capitol grounds
Answered by: Nan Hampton

QUESTION:

I am trying to find out what kinds of plants are planted on the Texas State Capitol Grounds. There is a bush that grows around the Capitol Extension windows area and I don't know what they are. The bush has a light-green color, almost like mint, and the bush has small white blossoms in the spring. I thought there was a book about Capitol plantlife, but I can't find one - not even in the Capitol Bookstore. Please help.

ANSWER:

Mr. Smarty Plants made a special trip to the Texas State Capitol grounds to see this plant and is happy to report its identity, Rhus microphylla (littleleaf or desert sumac). It grows in rough dry habitats in the western half of Texas. The blossoms attract bees, deer browse its foliage, and its berries are eaten by birds and small mammals. With its many-branched foliage and red berries, it is a very handsome shrub.

 

 


Rhus microphylla

Rhus microphylla

Rhus microphylla

 

 

More Shrubs Questions

California plants poisonous to dogs from Sacramento
July 01, 2012 - Found dodonea viscosa purple. Is it poisonous to dogs? Also Gold Star Potentilla. Going drought tolerant and need small trees, shrubs and plants not poisonous to dogs for sun and partial sun.
view the full question and answer

Native plants for flower beds in Aledo, TX
March 10, 2009 - I have 2 beds that together run the length of the house foundation (25' each), we have 2 spots I would like to plant a Yaupon (Pride of Houston) in each spot approximately 2' from the foundation;is ...
view the full question and answer

Recovering neglected garden space from Grapevine TX
March 22, 2014 - I live in Grapevine TX (Dallas). I just moved into a house where almost the entire large backyard is covered by oak trees that shed tons of leaves throughout our mild falls/winters. The yard has not...
view the full question and answer

Failure of fragrance in Sweet Shrub (Calycanthus floridus) in Illinois
April 30, 2006 - I have a sweet shrub bush that I took from the root of another one. Every year it blooms but never has even a smidgen of fragrance. The bush it came from was very fragrant. Should I do something to th...
view the full question and answer

Weeds in Blue Rug juniper in Phoenix MD
September 28, 2009 - The landscaper planted Blue Rug Junipers around the Helleri Holly and Yews in front of my house ten years ago. The Blue Rug has done great and looks really nice. My problem is that weeds grow up in ...
view the full question and answer

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