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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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Monday - December 15, 2008

From: Englishtown, NJ
Region: Northeast
Topic: Plant Identification
Title: Plant identification
Answered by: Nan Hampton

QUESTION:

I am looking for the name of the plant that looks like the spider plant but can survive the cold weather of the northeast. It looks just like the indoor spider plant but it does not produce offshoots. I have seen them at Dunkin Donuts where the maintenance people actually cut and shaped them. Thank you.

ANSWER:

The spider plant (Chlorphytum comosum) is a native of South Africa and certainly won't survive outdoors in New Jersey winters.  The only plant that I can come up with that looks a bit like the spider plant and is native to New Jersey is Yucca filamentosa (Adam's needle).  Here is more information from Ohio State University, North Carolina State University and Missouri Botanical Garden.

if this isn't the plant you saw at the Dunkin' Donuts and you have, or can get, a photo, please send it to us and we will do our best to identify it.  Visit the Ask Mr. Smarty Plants' Plant Identification page to read instructions for submitting photos.


Yucca filamentosa

 

 

 

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