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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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Tuesday - July 28, 2009

From: Kirtland, OH
Region: Mid-Atlantic
Topic: Invasive Plants
Title: More information on coltsfoot in Rindge NH
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

I wanted to give input regarding the query from Barbara Medford about: Coltsfoot invasive in Rindge NH Tuesday - July 21, 2009. I think it likely that the coltsfoot she described is Tussilago farfara. It is very prolific on disturbed sites in Ohio. Charles Tubesing The Holden Arboretum

ANSWER:

Thank you for your input. The query wasn't from me, the answer was written by me. Since the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center deals exclusively in plants native not only to North America but the the area in which they are being grown, when we find a common name in our Native Plant Database, we ordinarily don't search any further for identification; thus, our answer concerning several plants native to New Hampshire, all referred to as "coltsfoot."  Since your comment, we have done some more research, finding that Tussilago farfara is another plant that spreads by rhizomes, making it very similar in difficulty to eradicate to the native coltsfoots. This website from Invasive.org on Tussilago farfara has pictures and more information. The plant is not in our Native Plant Database because its origin was in Europe, and was probably brought to the Colonies by early settlers because it was considered a cough medication. While the origin of the plant is not the same, it would seem the advice given about eradicating it is. The wide use of common names, often several for the same plant, or several different plants with the same common name, is a constant problem for us. 

For anyone interested in the information in the Previous answer, here it is.

 

 

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