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

Thursday - March 06, 2008

From: Altamont, NY
Region: Northeast
Topic: General Botany, Wildflower Center
Title: Official definition of native plants
Answered by: Barbara Medford and Joe Marcus

QUESTION:

Does the Wildflower center have an official definition of "native" plants?

ANSWER:

The short answer to your question is "no". There is not an official Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center definition of native plants, but it's not from lack of thought and effort. It has been discussed and worked on for years, and is a question we often ask ourselves. There is an excellent previous answer to a Mr. Smarty Plants question that should give you a lot of good information.

As specifically referring to Mr. Smarty Plants, when we are asked a question about a specific plant, we first check our own Native Plant Database. If the plant is not there, then we do wider research. Not all plants native to North America are necessarily on our database, but in our research, if we discover that the plant in question originated somewhere other than North America, we treat it as a non-native. We try to direct those wanting help with a non-native to resources to help them, but the focus is always on plants native to North America, not including Mexico.

 

More General Botany Questions

Is there a flower that blooms only once in seven years?
December 17, 2008 - Just wanted to know if there exists a flower that blooms only once in seven years? Thank you!
view the full question and answer

Pure white primroses (Oenothera speciosa)
May 13, 2008 - Hello MS. Smarty Plants! I have wildflowers instead of grass in my backyard (mow once a year and it's spectacularly beautiful) and I noticed some pure white primroses (the rest are all pink or wi...
view the full question and answer

Smarty Plants on air purification
September 14, 2005 - What plant purifies the air?
view the full question and answer

Checklist of native plants
March 03, 2008 - I have recently submitted my membership. I would like to know if there is a complete list of wildflowers, that one may check off as they are seen, such as the birders check off their lifetime list.
view the full question and answer

Differences in prostrate Mimosa species
May 27, 2013 - There are apparently a lot of little pink puffy-flowered prostrate plants with thorny stems and sensitive leaves: Mimosa microphylla, Mimosa roemeriana, Mimosa strigillosa. How does one tell them apar...
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