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?


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

Sunday - March 27, 2005

From: Stahlstown, PA
Region: Mid-Atlantic
Topic: Seed and Plant Sources
Title: Smarty Plants on native plant purchases
Answered by: Nan Hampton


I am looking for an article(s), white paper, policy, etc. that addresses responsible native plant purchases. I have your genetics piece, but am looking for something more broad that addresses what a consumer should consider such as origin of plant - was it dug up in the Smokies or propagated from responsibly collected seed? Any suggestions in addition to your genetics piece...which, by the way, is excellent! Thanks.


On the same page as "The Importance of Genetics" we have an article "Selecting a Suitable Supplier" which addresses some of the concerns you mention in your question. The North American Native Plant Society has a "Sources Guideline" for suppliers of native plants and seeds. On their home page click on "Plant Sources" in the side bar menu, then select "Sources Guidelines." Another similar statement, Local Ecotype Guidelines is on the web page for Wild Ones Natural Landscapers "a national not-for-profit organization with a mission to educate and share information with members and community at the "plants-roots" level and to promote biodiversity and environmentally sound practices." From the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, you can read The International Code of Conduct for Plant Germplasm Collecting and Transfer. You can also see the British/Irish take on the subject called Code of Practice for Suppliers of Native Flora.


More Seed and Plant Sources Questions

Source for Impatiens capensis in Austin
May 02, 2009 - Where can I buy a Jewelweed plant in Austin, Tx?
view the full question and answer

Resources for wildlife garden in Maryland
September 10, 2007 - I've recently bought a home in Cambridge in Dorchester County on Maryland's Eastern Shore. I want my small garden to have native plants that will sustain birds, butterflies and visiting wildlife. ...
view the full question and answer

Seeds of Pinus engelmanii for the Netherlands
January 30, 2010 - I am living in the Netherlands Europe, I hope that you can help me. A friend of mine has a beautiful Pinus Engelmannii and I am looking for seeds of this pine. Have you any idea where i can buy them? ...
view the full question and answer

Smarty Plants on Hesperaloe parviflora
July 11, 2005 - I see these bright pink orange flowers on tall bracts everyday on the way to work. I have been searching for the name so I can buy one. I found a picture on your site at (http://www.wildflower.org/?...
view the full question and answer

SITES (or CITES) accredited source for native orchids
January 03, 2012 - Do you know of a nursery which is SITES accredited which offer North American native orchids? I grow as a hobby indoor ones as well as keep my eyes out protecting the outside native ones we have: Spir...
view the full question and answer

Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.
© 2016 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center