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

Wednesday - May 07, 2008

From: Austin, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Non-Natives, Poisonous Plants, Cacti and Succulents, Herbs/Forbs
Title: Natural fibers for lashing bamboo in weaving
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

I live in Austin and am looking for plants I can use for weaving fibers, e.g. lashing bamboo for a small project. What plants and parts do you recommend? What resources do you recommend for information on when and how to harvest, and how to prepare the fibers? Thank you!

ANSWER:

We are always touched by the confidence our friends on the other end of the computer line have in our range of abilities and knowledge. This question involves plants and may even involve native plants, but it is still not in our comfort zone. However, we will get out and take a look on the web and see if we can find someone who DOES know what he/she is talking about.

Article by Jim Hwang from the Taiwan Review, April 1, 2004 on Sun Yeh-chi's work with organic materials to make creations that echo the natural world.

"Native American Cordage Technology" by Tara Prindle from Suite 101 website.

Native Tech: Native American Technology and Art - Uses for Cattails, text and graphics also by Tara Prindle.

Plants for a Future website article on Fiber Plants.

Making Cordage from Natural Fibers. Adapted from Participating in Nature: Thomas J. Elpel's Field Guide to Primitive Living Skills.

From these articles, we tried to find some plants native to North America that you might access for your project. These four were all mentioned in various articles, but frankly, we wouldn't be too thrilled about tackling them for fibers.

Apocynum cannabinum (Indianhemp) - all parts of plant poisonous

Asclepias asperula (spider milkweed)

Yucca pallida (twistleaf yucca)

Agave havardiana (Havard's century plant)


Apocynum cannabinum

Asclepias asperula

Yucca pallida

Agave havardiana

 

 

 

 

 

More Poisonous Plants Questions

Are Carolina Cherry Laurel seeds poisonous from Asheville NC
August 14, 2012 - I have a Carolina cherry laurel in my back yard that is dropping berries into my vegetable garden beds. May be a silly question, but will the berries poison the plants (and me) when I eat them?
view the full question and answer

Pruning the leaves of Sago Palm.
March 10, 2010 - Is it a cardinal sin to remove all the sago palm branches? This winter they were so badly scorched by the cold that hardly a frond went unaffected. So I cut them all off as I needed to get around the...
view the full question and answer

GMO/GE crops killing wildflowers and insects
October 31, 2008 - Hi, I've read where GMO/GE crops in other countries were killing the wildflowers and insects adjacent to those fields. Have you had any reports of this North America. Best regards.
view the full question and answer

Digestive distress from eating Lonicera sempervirens
February 23, 2006 - A friend of mine ate Lonicera sempervirens and it caused a burning sensation in his stomach. What may have caused this sensation?
view the full question and answer

Photinia toxicity to dogs
June 15, 2009 - is the photinia bush toxic to dogs??
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