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 05, 2011

From: Kinston, NC
Region: Southeast
Topic: Herbs/Forbs
Title: Can Flame Acanthus grow in North Carolina, from Kinston NC
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

Can I grow the flame acanthus (humming bird bush) in eastern North Carolina. If so where can I find it. Thanks,

ANSWER:

We wouldn't bet on it, sorry.  According to our Native Plant Database webpage on  Anisacanthus quadrifidus var. wrightii (Flame acanthus) (which read) it is endemic to Texas, and can freeze to the ground, but sometimes come back, as far south as Dallas, which is USDA Plant Hardiness Zone 7b. Lenoir County appears to be in Zone 7a, which is close, but there are also considerations of soil type and season length. From the Growing Conditions:

"Soil Description: Well-drained sand, loam, clay, caliche, limestone. Adapts to a wide variety of soils, from rocky slopes to open areas.
Conditions Comments: This drought- and cold-tolerant shrub will adapt to a variety of soils and does well in patio pots. It blooms best in full sun but will tolerate light shade. As with many other xeric plants, rain triggers blooms."

And from the description of its habitat:

Distribution

"USA: TX
Native Distribution: The northernmost variety of its species, Anisacanthus quadrifidus var. wrightii ranges from south-central Texas (the southern Edwards Plateau) and west Texas into northern Mexico. Its species, Anisacanthus quadrifidus, continues south to Oaxaca in southern Mexico.
Native Habitat: Rocky banks and floodplains of streams, shrublands (matorral), and grasslands"

So, one last hope, we checked the USDA Plant Profile on Flame Acanthus and, sure enough, nowhere but in Texas.

 

More Herbs/Forbs Questions

A Bounty of Edibles for New Braunfels Texas
October 25, 2013 - I was hoping you could suggest a few plants that would serve several purposes. I live in New Braunfels, TX and would like to incorporate as many drought tolerant plants which would support birds, but...
view the full question and answer

Low maintenance plants for crack in concrete
July 01, 2008 - Dear Mr. Smarty Plants, I would like to grow some very low maintenance weeds, mosses and flowers out of a crack in a slab of concrete. Can you recommend any species that would do well in this sort...
view the full question and answer

sources of milkweed in Bastrop, Texas
April 22, 2015 - Where can I buy milkweed in Bastrop County? Can I plant in containers in garden soil? Thanks
view the full question and answer

Sad Germanders in Johnson City Texas
September 16, 2011 - I have some grey bush germanders that never seem to do well although they did at first when I planted them four years ago. They have sun and dappled shade on the south side of the house. A friend in ...
view the full question and answer

Cutting back of non-native Salvia Elegans in Portland OR
December 31, 2011 - I did not trim back my pineapple sage in the fall. It is now winter and the plants are bare sticks. Should I cut them back or leave them alone?
view the full question and answer

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