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

Tuesday - February 05, 2013

From: Tucson, AZ
Region: Southwest
Topic: Plant Identification
Title: Identification of plant with red beans Catalina Mts., Arizona
Answered by: Nan Hampton

QUESTION:

While hiking at the base of the Catalina Mts. near Tucson in Jan., I came across a plant, the pods of which were open, displaying a bright red bean. I took some of the beans to plant in my yard. I was wondering if you could tell me what plant this is? Thank you.

ANSWER:

On the Catalina State Park web page under "Science" I was able to find a link to a list of Plants of Catalina State Park.  Your description of a plant with pods and red beans led me to the Family Fabaceae (Pea Family) on the list.  From that list, I think the most likely candidate is Erythrina flabelliformis (Chilicote).  Here are photos and more information from Southeastern Arizona Wildflowers and from the Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum.

For future reference, if you are asking for an identification, it would be helpful to have more information about the size and type of plant.  For instance, did the beans come from a woody plant or an herbaceous one?  What was the size of the plant?  Was it a small tree or a shrub?  Did it have leaves?   If so, what did they look like?  Did the plant have thorns or any other unusual features?

 

More Plant Identification Questions

Plant Identification from Round Rock TX
October 26, 2010 - I am looking for the name of a ground cover I saw that looked like large bur oak leaf in a silvery green color. It was in the shade. I tried a search with no luck. Thanks!
view the full question and answer

Plant identification
June 16, 2011 - I have a photo of a shrubby plant with large spines. Is there a way for me to attach it? I'm having trouble identifying it. Thanks!
view the full question and answer

Identification of Bidens aristosa (Tickseed sunflower) in Texas
November 20, 2015 - I think the ID of the plant I submitted a description of yesterday is Tickseed Sunflower (Bidens aristosa). Thanks.
view the full question and answer

Average lifespan of Pinchot's Juniper from Golden CO
August 23, 2011 - What is the average lifespan of Juniperus coahuilensis (syn. Juniperus texensis) trees?
view the full question and answer

Identification of Sagittaria-like plant with purple flowers
July 21, 2011 - I have collected a wetland plant that I can't seem to identify. Its an emergent plant collected along with a species of sagittaria. Very similar in leaf structure to an sagittaria or alisima, but i...
view the full question and answer

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