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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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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!

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Friday - August 26, 2011

From: San Antonio, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Non-Natives, Pruning, Shrubs
Title: Non-native Pride of Barbados from San Antonio
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

I have some very successful wildly blooming "Dwarf Pride of Barbados" plants growing in my xeriscape garden. Each year I cut them back to the ground. I have just purchased a new variety called "Caesalpinia pulcherrima Compton" which is a pink variety. It was shipped with one stem [almost tree like] and it is different in that it has thorns. I was wondering if it should be cut back annually like its cousin. Thanking you in advance

ANSWER:

"Caesalpinia pulcherrima Compton" from Dave's Garden was about the only information we could obtain on this plant, as it is South American in origin. The Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center is dedicated to the growth, propagation and protection of plants native not only to North America, but to the area in which the plants are growing.

From Texas A&M Cooperative Extension, Bexar County, we found this article on Pride of Barbados. Perhaps they will know the answer to your question on the "cousin," so we suggest you contact the Bexar County Extension Office-Horticulture.

 

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