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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 - March 23, 2005

From: pittsburgh, PA
Region: Mid-Atlantic
Topic: Wildlife Gardens
Title: Planting for parrots
Answered by: Nan Hampton

QUESTION:

I have 2 parrots, a sun conure and a nanday conure, and I would like to find some plants to put in their aviary room that are safe for parrots. Can you help me with this question?

ANSWER:

Since we aren't experts on bird physiology and behavior, I think you would be wise to contact bird groups whose members would have experience with plants that might be harmful to your parrots. There seem to be a number of Pennsylvania cage bird clubs. There are also lists of web sites devoted to parrots of the US, Canada and Europe. You might find information about plants that are harmful to parrots through one of the Chat Forums.

After you have determined what plants should be avoided in the aviary, you can decide on the types of native plants you would like to put there. On the Regional Factpacks page of the Wildflower web site you can download a PDF file of "Recommended Native Plant Species Lists" for the Mid-Atlantic states. The file is arranged by type of plants (Cacti, Ferns, Grasses, Shrubs, Trees, Vines, Herbaceous/ Wildflowers) and gives you the botanical names, the common names, the native range (by state) and comments about plant size, bloom color and period, habitat and special features. You can find more information about any plant you choose from the list by searching the Native Plants Database. By selecting "Pennsylvania" in the "Nurseries" database in the National Suppliers Directory you can find native plant nurseries in your area to contact to determine the availability and cost of your chosen plants.
 

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