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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

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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Saturday - March 29, 2008

Region: Southwest
Topic: General Botany
Title: Native plants as accumulators of heavy metals in Texas
Answered by: Barbara Medford


I would like to know of any native plants that could be used as hyperaccumulaters of heavy metals in Texas.


This sort of question is ordinarily out of our line of expertise, except for the phrase "native plants." However, in the last year, we have had three questions to Mr. Smarty Plants that had the same general subject. All of them have links to other references and websites that might be of help to you. If, in the course of your research, you have found the names of some plants that fit your requirements, you can then go to our Native Plant Database, and search on the scientific name of the plant. If it is not in our database, there is a good chance that it is not native to North America. You could then Google on the scientific name and see what more you can find out about that specific plant.

Here are the links to the previous answers.

Trace element absorption by plants.

Reducing lead in soils.

Alkalinity tolerant grasses.

All of these answers to questions on metals in soils were done by other, more informed, members of the Mr. Smarty Plants team, and their names will appear on the individual answer. This particular member is better at advising you on when to trim your salvias, but fortunately, we have people who can answer the hard ones.


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