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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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Monday - July 23, 2007

From: Burlington, WI
Region: Midwest
Topic: Non-Natives
Title: Identification of non-native Viburnum lantana
Answered by: Joe Marcus

QUESTION:

Could you tell me what this plant is? I have no idea! Vib Iantana Mohican - this is all the info. I have, other than it can grow in the mid-west.

ANSWER:

Viburnum lantana 'Mohican', Wayfaring tree is a much-used shrub in the United States. However, it is not a US native plant; it's a US National Arboretum selected cultivar of the European species. It is often used in landscapes for green filler where drought-tolerance and pest-resistance are important. Like most cool-temperate region viburnums, V. lantana is deciduous. It grows well in your area (Wisconsin).

An interesting fact about this species is that the arrows that were found with Otzi, the 5000 year-old "iceman" discovered in the Italian/Austria Alps some years ago, were crafted from Viburnum lantana wood.
 

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