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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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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!

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Saturday - October 04, 2008

From: Elkton, MD
Region: Mid-Atlantic
Topic: Seed and Plant Sources
Title: Source for purchase of non-native Tradescantia zebrina
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

Is there a nursery near me that carries Wandering Jew plants?

ANSWER:

Tradescantia zebrina, Wandering Jew, is native to Mexico, and therefore out of our range of experience. The Lady Bird Wildflower Center is focused on the use, propagation and protection of plants native to North America. We do have lists of nurseries in your area, go to Native Plant Suppliers, type in your town and state in the "Enter Search Location" box. This will give you a list of names, addresses, phone numbers, websites, etc. of plant nurseries, seed companies and landscape consultants specializing in native plants. It's unlikely, however, that they would carry this plant, since it is non-native. However, the large commercial nurseries seem to carry far more non-natives than native plants, so you will probably be able to find one near you. The easiest thing is to beg a piece of the plant from someone else who already grows it. It roots very quickly from cuttings, and is also very invasive if it is in the ground. Once it gets going in a flower bed, it is almost impossible to get rid of, so be warned!
 

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