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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.

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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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Sunday - August 21, 2011

From: Acton, CA
Region: California
Topic: Plant Identification
Title: Plant in Las Vegas with fern-like foliage and yellow/orange/red flowers
Answered by: Nan Hampton

QUESTION:

We were in North Las Vegas and saw a beautiful plant, I would love to find it. It had a fern like foliage at the bottom with long thin stems and a flower clump at the top with yellow/orange/red flowers. We live in Acton, Ca. and have the same climate as Vegas. Hope you can help identify it. Thanks.

ANSWER:

Your description sounds like the native Achillea millefolium (Common yarrow).  The native plant has white flowers but there are commerically available cultivars with many color variations.  Here are a few of the cultivars:

Sphaeralcea leptophylla (Scaly globemallow) is another possibility with orange flowers, but I don't know of ones with yellow or red flowers.   Another globemallow, Sphaeralcea coccinea (Scarlet globemallow), also has orange flowers and leaves that look a bit fernlike.  Here are more photos of the globemallows.

If none of these looks like the plants you saw in Las Vegas and you have photos of them, please go to our Plant Identification page where you will find links to several plant identification forums that accept photos.

 

From the Image Gallery


Common yarrow
Achillea millefolium

Common yarrow
Achillea millefolium

Scaly globemallow
Sphaeralcea leptophylla

Scarlet globemallow
Sphaeralcea coccinea

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