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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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Sunday - March 23, 2008

From: Leander, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Trees
Title: Plants found only in the Edwards Plateau of Texas area
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

I am new to Austin, Texas and I am working with a group of 4th grade Cub Scouts on their Naturalist and Forester pins and we need to know about and have pictures of at least 6 trees and plants only found in our area. Can you help me with this??? Thanks so much.

ANSWER:

The difficulty here was in figuring out what would qualify as the "area." I started with Travis County, and quickly realized that there were very few endemic (found only in one area) plants to Travis County, and that they had small populations and would be difficult to find and even more difficult to get a picture. Finally, I settled on the Edwards Plateau. See this map of the Vegetational Areas of Texas to get a feel for the area we are dealing with. This North American Regional Center of Endemism has a study on the botany of the Edwards Plateau and we were able to find quite a few to research a little further. You have to realize that many of these plants are probably now found in other areas, due to cultivation or transplant, but that is about as close to "only found in this area" as we can get. Please caution your Scouts not to go out looking for these, as some of them are endangered, with very small populations remaining in the wild. They should not be disturbed.

Click on each plant link to get a webpage of information about it, with pictures.

Styrax platanifolius (sycamoreleaf snowbell)

Styrax platanifolius ssp. texanus (Texas snowbell)

Salvia penstemonoides (big red sage)

Streptanthus bracteatus (bracted jewelflower)

Philadelphus ernestii (canyon mock orange)

Philadelphus texensis (Texas mock orange)

Penstemon triflorus (Heller's beardtongue)

Seymeria texana (Texas blacksenna)

Hesperaloe parviflora (redflower false yucca)

Perityle lindheimeri (Lindheimer's rockdaisy)

Tradescantia edwardsiana (plateau spiderwort)

Chaetopappa bellidifolia (whiteray leastdaisy)

Quercus laceyi (Lacey oak)

Buddleja racemosa (wand butterflybush)

Garrya ovata ssp. lindheimeri (Lindheimer's silktassel)

Verbesina lindheimeri (Lindheimer's crownbeard)


Styrax platanifolius

Styrax platanifolius ssp. texanus

Salvia penstemonoides

Streptanthus bracteatus

Philadelphus ernestii

Philadelphus texensis

Penstemon triflorus

Seymeria texana

Hesperaloe parviflora

Perityle lindheimeri

Tradescantia edwardsiana

Chaetopappa bellidifolia

Quercus laceyi

Buddleja racemosa

Garrya ovata ssp. lindheimeri

 

 

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