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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.

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Ask Mr. Smarty Plants is a free service provided by the staff and volunteers at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center.

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Monday - June 25, 2007

From: Houston, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Herbs/Forbs
Title: Argemone pleiacantha for Houston
Answered by: Nan Hampton and Joe Marcus

QUESTION:

Hey, Mr. Smarty Plants! Please allow me to offer a spell check on a plant that I inquired about last night. It's Argemone pleiacantha. I live in Houston, TX, and have been told that it will bloom all summer here if provided with good drainage. I can provide that by amending the soil (I'm a veteran of dealing with Houston's gumbo clay), but I want to confirm that this plant will be perennial here and not just have a short spurt of blooming in the spring. Thanks for your help!

ANSWER:

Since it is now growing in a more tropical area than its native range (New Mexico and Arizona), Argemone pleiacantha (southwestern pricklypoppy) will probably act more like a perennial in Houston. That doesn't guarantee that it will bloom all summer, however.

We would like to recommend that you consider substituting Argemone albiflora (bluestem pricklypoppy) or Argemone mexicana (Mexican pricklypoppy), two species that are native to the Houston area.

 


Argemone albiflora

Argemone mexicana

 

 

 

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