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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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Monday - December 01, 2008

From: Fort Worth, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: General Botany
Title: Every plant in Texas
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

Do you know every plant in Texas? Alexis

ANSWER:

Since Mr. Smarty Plants and the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center specialize in plants native to the area in which they are growing, we would like to answer your question talking only about plants native to Texas; that is, they were growing and still are growing in Texas where they were growing before the European explorers came to North America.

Now, in answer to your question, no, sorry, we don't know every NATIVE plant in Texas. In the first place, Mr. Smarty Plants does not have nearly enough memory to remember all those plants. In the second place, not all the plants in Texas have even been discovered and identified.

In the whole world, there are at least 230,000 species of flowering plants that have been identified. It is estimated that there are at least that many more that have not yet been discovered. In Texas,  about 5,000 species of flowering plants have been discovered. There are new plants being found growing wild all the time. Our Native Plant Database lists 3,192 plants native to Texas, and there could be that many more waiting to be found. Probably we will never know all the plants in Texas, but we are glad you are interested in them. We thought you might like to see some pictures of various native plants of Texas, so you can get an idea of what a variety there is.


Lupinus texensis

Agave havardiana

Arbutus xalapensis

Coryphantha echinus

Wedelia texana

Quercus fusiformis

Bignonia capreolata

Castilleja indivisa

 

 

 

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