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Mr. Smarty Plants - Collecting native plants of Texas

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Friday - March 06, 2009

From: Austin, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Wildflowers
Title: Collecting native plants of Texas
Answered by: Nan Hampton

QUESTION:

Where can I find native plants of Texas to collect? I am doing a project and I need native Texan flowers here in Austin or around here.

ANSWER:

First, please read Alternatives to Collecting Wildflowers in our How-to Articles.  If this is a project you have set for yourself and you could consider alternatives collecting—or. if it's an assignment and you can convince your teacher to consider alternatives to cutting or digging the plants, then there are many possibilities for finding plants—e.g., parks and preserves in the area and/or the Wildflower Center.  The obvious alternative to collecting plants is to photograph them.  Digital cameras are relatively inexpensive and you can download your photos and put them into various presentation formats (Word, PowerPoint, etc.) with the plants' names, date and place of photograph, etc.  There are many parks in the Austin area that have a wealth of native plants that you could photograph, but collecting them is prohibited. There are a large number of parks and preserves within the Austin city limits itself where you could photograph, but again you could NOT collect plants in the parks. If you and your class have been given an assignment to collect living plants for a project and your teacher won't consider photographic alternatives, then I guess you are sort of stuck with finding a place to acquire them.  It is not illegal to collect plants from the right-of-way on state roads, but it is DANGEROUS—especially on busy roads. Trespassing on someone else's property is not a good idea since it is generally considered illegal.  Your best bet then, if you can't use photographs for your project, is to find property with an abundance of different plants, find out who the owner is and ask permission to collect there.  If this was an assignment from your teacher, ask for guidance from him/her for places to collect where plant collection is not prohibited. 

 

 

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