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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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Friday - May 30, 2014

From: St Croix Falls, WI
Region: Midwest
Topic: General Botany, Wildflowers
Title: Define monoculture from St. Croix Falls, WI
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

What do you call a dense stand or carpet of one species of wildflower? Our botany professor told us but that was 40 years ago!

ANSWER:

Mr. Smarty Plants believes the word you are looking for is "monoculture." There really is no such thing as a true monoculture; other species of whatever - wild flowers, weeds, agricultural crops - are going to creep in. In fact, a pure monoculture is not necessarily a good thing. Here are some articles that expand on the definition

Wikipedia  'Monoculture' is the agricultural practice of producing or growing a single crop or plant species over a wide area and for a large number of consecutive years. It is widely used in modern industrial agriculture and its implementation has allowed for large harvests from minimal labour.

Carbon Trade Watch - Monocultures

Science Daily - Monoculture

As you can see, it is mostly a term referring to industrial agriculture for the growth of food. Probably a more useful term for your purpose is "a whole bunch of the same wildflower."

 

 

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