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, 2008

From: Austin, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Plant Identification
Title: Plant identification of red flower in Austin
Answered by: Nan Hampton

QUESTION:

What is the plant I have seen in urban landscapes in Austin, Texas, that have bright red flowers at the terminus of what looks like a spray of green, jointed, drooping branches (or stalks). It forms a relatively low clump. Looks to be drought tolerant plant.

ANSWER:

Hmm. At first, I thought you were seeing Hesperaloe parviflora (redflower false yucca) but then you said it forms a relatively low clump so this may not be it. Another possibility that is also rather tall is Ipomopsis rubra (standing-cypress) that had its peak blooming in June. Here are a few other possibilities for native landscaping plants with red blossoms that are commonly used in Austin:

Penstemon baccharifolius (baccharisleaf beardtongue)

Salvia penstemonoides (big red sage)

Salvia roemeriana (cedar sage)

Stachys coccinea (scarlet hedgenettle)

Lobelia cardinalis (cardinalflower)

Malvaviscus arboreus var. drummondii (wax mallow)

It is possible that the plant you are seeing isn't a native. If it isn't one of the plants above, please send us photos and we will do our best to identify it. Visit the Ask Mr. Smarty Plants page to read instructions for submitting photos (under "Plant Identification").


Hesperaloe parviflora

Ipomopsis rubra

Penstemon baccharifolius

Penstemon baccharifolius

Salvia roemeriana

Stachys coccinea

Lobelia cardinalis

Malvaviscus arboreus var. drummondii

 

 

 

More Plant Identification Questions

Plant identification from New York
August 21, 2014 - I have a sunflower like plant growing mysteriously in our garden. Its leaves are large heart shaped. It is a single stem plant. The base of each branch is a small, orange colored bud looking as if...
view the full question and answer

Plant identification
December 20, 2011 - I am new to Florida and can't find the identification of one of my plants anywhere. It's an unattractive plant that is stick-like, very rubbery - it reminds me of a stick-bug. I have a small one i...
view the full question and answer

Identification of artichoke-like plant in Idaho
May 13, 2013 - There is a plant/weed growing in the front yard, my mom says it is a flower I say a weed. It looks a lot like an open artichoke and is the same size. It is green except on the tips where it is deep pu...
view the full question and answer

Identification of plant with speckled green leaf
June 21, 2015 - I have a purple (or brown) speckled green leaf plant with tiny yellow daisy-like flowers. The leaf is fuzzy looking on the edge. Self seeds freely in my shady garden.
view the full question and answer

Identification of thorny plant in Michigan
June 16, 2008 - i live in southern michigan and have a thorny plant with oval leaves growing in my flower beds. this used to be a grassy area how did it get there. i live on the edge of town. what plants in my area h...
view the full question and answer

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