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
Not Yet Rated

Friday - June 07, 2013

From: Dallas, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Propagation, Wildflowers
Title: Proliferation of Small Palafoxia in Dallas Co. TX
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

A few years ago I noticed a new wildflower I hadn't seen before in the southwest Dallas County area. I found the name to be Small Palafoxia. It was growing along the edges of HWy 67 in Duncanville and on the edge of a field in Dallas not far from there. then I began noticing it in other places. This year there seem to be whole fields of it, and lots along the road. Has something changed to increase it in our area? just curious, because it seems to be taking over!

ANSWER:

According to this USDA Plant Profile Map, Palafoxia callosa (Small palafox) is native to Dallas County. The only odd thing is that our webpage on this plant show its bloom time to be August to November. From that webpage:

"Conditions Comments: Small palafoxia provides an airy accent to the fall prairie garden. Best grown in full sun and dry, gravelly soils to avoid rotting plant. Great reseeding annual for the xeric flower garden."

From our Image Gallery, we have provided you with pictures (below) that will help confirm your identification.

The truth is, Texas wildflowers bloom not where and when they are supposed to, but where and when they can get away with it. This is an annual and even the iconic bluebonnet, which is supposed to bloom only in March and April, will sometimes pop up in a wateredf yard in August or a sheltered sunny location in February. Here are the Growintg Conditions for Small Palafox:

"Growing Conditions

Water Use: Low
Light Requirement: Sun
Soil Moisture: Dry
Heat Tolerant: yes"

Our opinion is that the seeds, which may have been waiting in the ground for just the right moment, got some rain and popped up. They are annuals which means they propagate themselves prolifically, grow fast in order to bloom and make seeds and propagate again. They are a good wildlife flower, and we found no indication that they were invasive, so we suggest you just enjoy!

 

From the Image Gallery


Sand palafox
Palafoxia hookeriana

Small palafox
Palafoxia callosa

Small palafox
Palafoxia callosa

More Propagation Questions

Propagation of redbuds from shoots in St. Louis MO
July 17, 2009 - I have a beautiful, healthy old redbud tree that I love. Every year, I find baby redbud trees rooted all over my yard, Since they are deep, I can't seem to dig them out so I simply cut them down to...
view the full question and answer

Recommended distance between blueberry plants
May 21, 2008 - How far apart do I need to plant blueberry bushes?
view the full question and answer

How close to a male tree will a new female persimmon need to be planted to ensure pollination in Austin, TX?
June 17, 2009 - I have a male Texas Persimmon in the back corner of my yard. I would like to plant a female Texas Persimmon in the front yard, more than 100 feet away? How far away do you think they should be place...
view the full question and answer

Rooting cuttings in water from Rifle CO
July 11, 2012 - Found russian sage lavender stems from cutting. Need to find out if I can root them in water? I also have found rose cutting; wondering if I can put them in water to root? I have a western chokecher...
view the full question and answer

Sprouts from stems of plants from Happy Yard IN
September 28, 2013 - Is it normal for a plant to start a sprout from its own root system next to the stock/stem? Is it trying to regrow?
view the full question and answer

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