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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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Monday - June 30, 2008

From: Austin, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Plant Identification
Title: Moonnflower native to North America
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

Is the plant called moon flower a native plant to North America?

ANSWER:

Indeed, the Ipomoea alba (tropical white morning-glory) is a native of North America. It is a tender perennial for warmer areas, but is sometimes treated as an annual in colder climates. This Floridata website on Ipomoea alba will give you more information. In our research, we learned that Datura wrightii (sacred thorn-apple), also a native, is sometimes referred to as moonflower. In both cases, the common name is given to these plants because they are night-bloomers. Both are native to Texas, so either one might be found in an Austin garden. You should note that Datura wrightii (sacred thorn-apple) is poisonous and should probably not be grown where children or pets would have access to it.


Ipomoea alba

Datura wrightii

 

 

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