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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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Wednesday - July 30, 2008

From: San Antonio, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Edible Plants
Title: Edible plants native to Bexar County, Texas
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

What types of edible plants are native to Bexar county?

ANSWER:

Much as we hate to admit this, Mr. Smarty Plants doesn't know everything. Nor could we find a list of edible plants just for Bexar County. First, let us refer you to a previous answer by Mr. Smarty Plants, saying that few vegetables are native plants, and only the chile pequin could be considered native to Bexar Co. Two others that spring to mind are Vitis mustangensis (mustang grape) and Opuntia engelmannii var. lindheimeri (Texas pricklypear). We understand that the purple pear of this cactus, also called a tuna, is very tasty and sweet. It is recommended that you make sure all the spines are off before you pop it into your mouth.

Beyond that, we can refer to you a couple of websites where you might be able to get more specific information: Harry T. Cliffe Bexar Regional Herbarium and the Native Plant Society of Texas San Antonio Chapter. Finally, check with the Bibliography below that could provide some more possibilities. If you find an edible plant that you think might be a possibility, check with the USDA Plant Profile with the botanical name for that plant. You can click on the map of Texas and get the specific counties where that plant appears.

 

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