Contact Us Host an Event Volunteer Join

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
1 rating

Thursday - April 12, 2012

From: Kerrville, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: General Botany, Plant Identification
Title: Seeds of Castilleja purpurea
Answered by: Nan Hampton

QUESTION:

The seed photo for Castilleja purpurea is incorrect; seeds are black and poppyseed size.

ANSWER:

Minnette Marr with the Wildflower Center Seed Bank has assured me that the photo correctly shows the seeds of Castilleja purpurea (Prairie paintbrush).  The photo shows them with a netlike covering that is described by Correll and Johnson in Manual of the Vascular Plants of Texas, p. 1439.  The description reads:

"...seeds numerous, the testa loose and alveaolately reticulate."

The testa is the seed coat and, being loosely attached, easily comes off the seed.   You will note the scale bar with the photo that is 10 millimeters (mm) long—about the width of a dime.  The seeds with the testa measure about 2 mm; and, you can see that with the testa missing they would be about 1.5 mm and they appear dark, if not black.  That is not too different in size and color from that of a sesame seed.

 

From the Image Gallery


Prairie paintbrush
Castilleja purpurea

Prairie paintbrush
Castilleja purpurea

More Plant Identification Questions

Plant identification
September 05, 2011 - This incredible plant has grown up in the past two months. Considering the extreme heat of this summer, my husband assumes it must be a weed. We have had this skinny strip of dirt for four years, and ...
view the full question and answer

Information about plant called Josephs tears, possibly Jobs tears (Coix lacryma-jobi)
October 08, 2007 - I recently received a plant and was told it was a succulent called Joseph's Tears. According to the individual who gave it to me, during the month of September it develops a little growth at the tip...
view the full question and answer

Identification of tall plant with five-petaled purple flowers
June 01, 2013 - I recently moved into a house and have a plant near my fence that has purple flowers with five petals and a somewhat thick stem, about a half inch. The leaves are sparse and it grows about four to si...
view the full question and answer

Plant identification of orange-flowered plant with portulaca-like leaves
August 02, 2014 - As a last resort, I'm asking you. The plant identification page has not been helpful. Recently moved to Breckenridge, Texas and found several plants with 5 petaled orange flowers in the pasture. L...
view the full question and answer

Identification of a mushroom in England
June 02, 2011 - I have a fungi I cannot recognize. It has a whitish soft pithy stem about 2/3 mm wide and approximately 6-10cm long. It has no leaves just a white flower/seed case on the top of the stem. This head is...
view the full question and answer

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

Bibliography

Manual of the Vascular Plants of Texas (1979) Correll, D. S. & M. C. Johnston

Search More Titles in Bibliography