En EspaŅol

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
Can't find the answer in our existing FAQs, submit a question to Mr. Smarty Plants.
Need help with plant identification, visit the plant identification page.
 
rate this answer
Not Yet Rated

Tuesday - April 22, 2014

From: Kingsland, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Managing Roadsides, User Comments, Wildflowers
Title: Highway construction in wildflower areas from Kingsland TX
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

I see no other link to contact about this, except for you. Maybe you can direct me. I just drove Hwy 281 South and a lot of road construction is being done. For many years that I've noticed, there have been exceptional colors of Indian Paintbrush on the roadsides from Glen Rose to south of Hamilton. There are typically many flowers, even under drought conditions, in shades of deep pink, coral, & lavender, and are very full & healthy. I have photos of past years' flowers and they are gorgeous. A huge toll has been taken on them at this moment, with all of the destruction while widening the highway. There are a few spared patches at this point, but I consider them "endangered" now. I was almost sickened. Why shouldn't the Highway Dept. be required to collect seed for at least 2 years before destroying this special habitat and even roll the sod to use? Something seriously needs to be done here..immediately. Can you help? What can I do, who should I contact? Thank you.

ANSWER:

About this time every year, we get anguished complaints about what is being done to our roadsides in Texas. Here are a website and a previous Mr. Smarty Plants answer responding to a couple of those. Much as we hate to admit it, The Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center has no direct role in directing the use of the land around new and/or existing highways. Individuals an area can be much more effective by contacting those in position to make decisions on this subject in their own area.

USDA Forest Service Wildflower Ethics and Native Plants

Previous answer

Our personal observation on this subject is that there is so much pressure for space and land in Texas. There is always support for bringing in new businesses, housing areas, schools, etc., and only so many place where they can go. Then, those moving in to take advantage of those areas must have roads to get there. On local, county and state levels there are ongoing conflicts over finances - in other words, who is going to pay for reseeding a road area or relinquish the desired new road in favor of wildflowers and who benefits in the long run?

More information from the past on this loaded question:

Previous answer from Vilonia AR

Previous answer from Caldwell TX

Previous answer from Houston TX

Previous answer from Lockhart, TX

and on and on......

 

More User Comments Questions

Articles on landscaping with native plants in Kansas
August 18, 2004 - I work for the Kansas Department of Transportation in Topeka, Kansas and would like to receive information on growing native wildflowers. I have a catalog titled "Wildflower Favorites" that was pub...
view the full question and answer

Wrong photo in Native Plant Database
August 18, 2008 - The picture to the left of the information for Rudbeckia laciniata L. shows a plant with a dark center. This is not the Cutleaf Conflower with which I am familiar. What is it? Thank you.
view the full question and answer

Clarification of question from Pitcairn PA
April 23, 2013 - What is the best site and book for wild stables in Pennsylvania?
view the full question and answer

Strawberry tree with yellowing leaves.
June 07, 2009 - Just to add to your statistics, I live in Poulsbo, Washington, very near to Tacoma, Washington. My strawberry tree also has yellowing leaves with some black spots. I will take your advice with the iro...
view the full question and answer

Native violets under maples from Gettysburg PA
July 06, 2012 - Just for your info (no need to post or reply), I saw an old post of a question of something to grow under maples. In central PA, native violets grow very well under several species of maples in lawns...
view the full question and answer

Smarty Plants's Facebook profile Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.

Mr. Smarty Plants wants you to be his Facebook friend. Click the Facebook icon to add yourself to Mr. Smarty Plants list of friends.
E-NEWSLETTER | BECOME A MEMBER | DONATE NOW | MEDIA | SITEMAP
© 2014 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center