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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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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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Tuesday - April 29, 2014

From: Vincennes, IN
Region: Midwest
Topic: Invasive Plants, Non-Natives, Trees
Title: Non-native, invasive mimosa trees in Vincennes IN
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

I have 3 Mimosa trees here in Vincennes, Indiana and so far none of them are leafing out this spring (4-28-14) Do you think that this past winter could have killed then?

ANSWER:

We need to point out that the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center, home of Mr. Smarty Plants, is dedicated to the growth, propgation and protection of plants native not only to North America but to the area in which that plant is to be grown; in your case, Knox County, Indiana. Because we deal only with native plants, Albrizia julibrissin, Mimosa, native to China, does not appear in our Native Plant Database. Here is an article on this plant from the University of Florida Center for Aquatic and Invasive Plants with more information. Another article from Dave's Garden has a number of negative comments on the tree and also says that it is hardy to USDA Plant Hardiness Zone 6a, which we believe is your zone. Just about everyone in the United States seems to have had an unusually cold winter this year, so your trees may very well be suffering from freeze damage.

The main reason we recommend only native plants is that you know they will grow where your garden is because they already are growing around there.

 

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