En Español

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

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!

Need help with plant identification, visit the plant identification page.

 
rate this answer
Not Yet Rated

Friday - May 30, 2008

From: Mont Clare, PA
Region: Mid-Atlantic
Topic: Wildflowers
Title: Rules for picking wildflowers
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

I've always heard that, if not in a park or posted area, it is ok to pick one wildflower for every 13 and therefore leave a dozen. Is this at all true?

ANSWER:

Oh, absolutely. And then the Wildflower Police, who have been following you with radar and binoculars, swoop up to count and make sure you left the required twelve.

All right, only joking. Actually, what I think you're referring to is a way to help people understand that they should leave some wildflowers, or any other wildlife, for others to enjoy. In other words, don't take everything away. Here is a previous Mr. Smarty Plants answer to a related question (also from Pennsylvania, what's going on up there?) in which we discuss the rules, laws and courtesies concerning wildflowers. Our basic message is that wild plants left where they were growing will continue to be seen and enjoyed by others, will remain to drops seeds, and then reproduce for the future. As long as you are not on private property without permission or in a protected area, certainly it's okay to pick a few wildflowers, but don't pick them all, or destroy them "just for fun." And, as we said in our previous answer, consider growing some wildflowers of your own, and contribute to your own and others' pleasure.

 

More Wildflowers Questions

New York City Native Perennials for a Long Growing Season
May 31, 2013 - Which native New York City perennials would be best for the longest growing season?
view the full question and answer

Changing blooming patterns on sunflowers from Kimball NE
September 05, 2013 - The common sunflower seems to be very prolific some years, not so much others. Is this weather related or cyclical?
view the full question and answer

Flowering native plants for Evanston IL
July 12, 2009 - What flowering, native plants would be suitable for a backyard garden in Evanston Illinois?
view the full question and answer

Perennials for Sandy Shade in California
December 17, 2015 - Are there any native perennials that would do well in sandy shade? I have a difficult corner in my garden that does not get much sun. The soil is sandy though I have added some amount of compost to en...
view the full question and answer

Smarty Plants on Germination
July 23, 2004 - I just planted wildflowers and I was wondering how long before I know if they will grow?
view the full question and answer

Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.
E-NEWSLETTER | BECOME A MEMBER | DONATE NOW | MEDIA | JOBS | SITEMAP | STAFF INTRANET
© 2016 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center