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?

Share

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
2 ratings

Thursday - March 26, 2009

From: Ignacio, CO
Region: Rocky Mountain
Topic: Non-Natives, Edible Plants
Title: Edible plants beginning with I, T, X and Z in Colorado
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

My friend would like to know a fruit or vegetable that he would plant in his garden and come back yearly. The plants would have to start with the letters I,T,X, & Z. It has to be edible, of course.

ANSWER:

We guess you might not want to tell us why the names of the plants need to start with I, T, X and Z? We get a lot of repetitious questions, but we're fairly certain that this one is unique.

At the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center, we are dedicated to the care and propagation of plants native not only to North America but to the area in which they are being grown.  Most fruits and vegetables, although not all, are either non-native to North America or have been so extensively hybridized that they are no longer recognizable as native. They would therefore not appear in our Native Plant Database and would be out of our area of expertise. Another complication is that we ordinarily refer to all plants by their Latin or scientific names, to avoid confusion, and we don't know whether your friend is thinking of common names, like "carrot"  which is a domesticated form of Daucus carot, the Latin name of a wild carrot native to Europe and Southwestern Asia. So, we don't know if that's a "d" or a "c" word, it isn't on your list of letters, and not native to North America (or Colorado), anyway. 

Just for fun, we are going to do a search in our Recommended Species, click on Colorado on the map, and scan the listed plants (which are listed alphabetically by Latin name in our database) for anything  that might be edible, could be grown in Colorado and starts with one of the specified letters. There were 110 species listed as recommended for Colorado, but not a single one began with "I", "T, nor "X". Zinnia grandiflora (Rocky Mountain zinnia) was listed but I don't believe that could be regarded as edible, except maybe to an aphid. 

Still game, we tried Googling "edible plants of Colorado," but they were listed by common names and not alphabetically, but you might try that to see if you could locate something. And we really would like to know the reason for the choice of letters.

 

More Non-Natives Questions

Replacing non-native Paulonia tomentosa in North Carolina
June 25, 2009 - What could I plant in my Winston-Salem, N.C., yard in place of the paulownia tomentosa which is there now (it was NOT something I put there; I only figured out what it was a couple of years ago -- I g...
view the full question and answer

Can bastard cabbage be eaten from Austin
May 02, 2013 - On a local cooking show they were talking about cooking local foods and mentioned bastard cabbage but never showed how to cook it or if it was in fact edible. Would be a way to help get rid of it if ...
view the full question and answer

Transplanting non-native yellow lantana in Emerald Isle, NC
August 22, 2010 - We live in Emerald Isle, NC. Can we transplant yellow lantana? It is not really a perennial but appears to be one at the coast. If so, when do you transplant?
view the full question and answer

Non-native carrotwood tree in Simi Valley CA
June 25, 2009 - We have a beautiful 40+ foot carrotwood tree that has been covered with small nut-like pods growing in bunches. They are a mess. Is there a spray that controls/eliminates this problem?
view the full question and answer

Recommend a plant similar to Corkscrew Willow for Austin, TX.
June 16, 2015 - Do corkscrew willows do well in Austin, TX? If not, can you recommend a willow like tree to plant along the banks of a creek?
view the full question and answer

Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.
E-NEWSLETTER | BECOME A MEMBER | DONATE NOW | MEDIA | JOBS | SITEMAP | STAFF INTRANET
© 2016 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center