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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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Sunday - May 19, 2013

From: Fredericksburg, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Diseases and Disorders, Pests, Herbs/Forbs
Title: Problems with Gregg's mistflower from Fredericksburg, TX
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

Dear Mr. Smarty Plants: Something is wilting the tops of my Gregg's mistflower, Conoclinium greggii. I cannot see bugs on the plant, so I am wondering if it's a disease. The problem is widespread to three separate stands of the plant. I am hoping to hear that others who have had a similar issue know how to correct this problem on what has generally been a problem-free plant. Thank.

ANSWER:

Mr. Smarty Plants is not a forum but a team of Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower volunteers who answer questions on plants native to North America and to the area in which those plants evolved. We did search in our Previously Answered Questions to see if we had any similar comments on Conoclinium greggii (Gregg's mistflower). We found this previous question that addressed a similar problem. You will note from this USDA Plant Profile Map  that it is native only to Hudspeth County, deep in West Texas and about a half a state away from Gillespie County. That doesn't mean it won't grow in Centtral Texas, certainly it does, but it is basically a desert plant and requires very good drainage iin the soil. From our webpage on this plant:

"Native Distribution: W. TX to s.e. AZ & adjacent Mex.
Native Habitat: Frequent along stream beds and overflow areas in the Trans-Pecos, east to Edwards Plateau and Rio Grande Plains. Sand, loam, clay or limestone. Seasonally flooded stream beds; plains; overflow areas"

We would first suggest you take another look at the blooms with the possibility of whiteflies on the blooms, as discussed in our previously answered question above. Also, make sure the roots of your plant are not standing in soggy soil, and particularly that you are not sprinkling it from above.

 

From the Image Gallery


Gregg's mistflower
Conoclinium greggii

Gregg's mistflower
Conoclinium greggii

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