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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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Friday - January 17, 2014

From: Jesup, GA
Region: Southeast
Topic: Invasive Plants, Non-Natives, Plant Identification, Shrubs
Title: Non-native eleagnus from Jesup GA
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

An elderly farmer has told me about a plant called Alley Agnes, but I can't find any plant by this name anywhere. He doesn't know another name for it, says it's what everyone has always called it in this area. Do you know the scientific name or a more common name for this plant?

ANSWER:

The Internet is amazing! We Googled "alley agnus" and got this website from Learn 2 Grow on eleagnus. Say that aloud and what does it sound like? We also found this post on eleagnus on Dave's Garden from New Zealand.

"Known as Alley Agnes here - not sure of spelling"

Beyond that, we cannot help you, as Mr. Smarty Plants has expertise only in plants native to North America as well as to the area in which those plants are being grown; in your case, Jesup County, GA. Since we would not have pictures of this plant in our Native Plant Image Gallery, here are pictures from Google.

From Wikipedia:

"The vast majority of the species are native to temperate and subtropical regions of Asia. Elaeagnus triflora extends from Asia south into northeastern Australia, while E. commutata is native to North America, and Elaeagnus philippinensis is native to the Philippines. One of the Asian species, E. angustifolia, may also be native in southeasternmost Europe, though it may instead be an early human introduction there. Also, several Asiatic species of Elaeagnus have become established as introduced species in North America, with some of these species being considered invasive, or even designated as noxious, in portions of the United States."

Please note that this plant is considered noxious and invasive in some parts of North America.



 

 

 

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