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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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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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Wednesday - June 17, 2009

From: Canton, MI
Region: Midwest
Topic: Shrubs
Title: Shrub that does not attract birds in Michigan
Answered by: Jackie OKeefe

QUESTION:

Does a "Center Glow" ninebark have seeds? I want a shrub that does NOT attract birds!

ANSWER:

Physocarpus opulifolius (common ninebark) does produce and reproduce by seeds. Ninebark 'Center Glow' is a patented cultivar of Physocarpus opulifolius (common ninebark). For more information about its characteristics you can contact the patent owners, Jeffries Nurseries. The 'Center Glow' cultivar can only legally be propagated by softwood cuttings, but their plant description does mention developing seed heads.

At the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center, our mission is to provide information and assistance in identifying, propagating and using our native species in their native ranges. Our database is not ideally suited to isolating plants that DON'T attract birds, but here are two possible options that I found by going to The Native Plant Database and doing a combination search for Michigan, shrubs, part-sun and moist soil – guessing on what parameters matched your site – and reading plant descriptions.

Ledum groenlandicum (bog Labrador tea)

Spiraea alba (white meadowsweet)


Ledum groenlandicum

Spiraea alba

 

 

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