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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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Monday - August 03, 2009

From: Adelaide, Australia
Region: Other
Topic: Seed and Plant Sources
Title: Source for American barberry in Adelaide Australia
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

I am trying to find a source/s of the American barberry (Berberis canadensis). I am interested in root stock but particularly in a supplier of the fruit (berry). I have tried everything and someone suggested that if anyone could help then you could.

ANSWER:

We're very flattered that you came (via Internet) all the way to us in Austin, TX in search of a solution. However, the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center is dedicated to the use, care and propagation of plants native not only to North America but to the area in which they are being grown. So, we would not  be able to recommend that it be grown in Australia, which already has some problems with imported North American plants becoming invasive. However, there is an even more important reason why we would be unable to provide you with a source for this plant. It is native to the southeastern states of the United States, and considered endangered, threatened, of concern or extirpated in every state in which it is native. In fact, it does not even appear in our Native Plant Database, which is really a shock to us.  If it is being cultivated anywhere in the United States, it would be as an attempt to re-establish it in its native environment, and not for distribution elsewhere. These two websites can give you some more information, but we think it highly unlikely you are going to find a source for either the berries or the root stock. 

Kentucky State Nature Preserves Commission

USDA Plant Profile for Berberis canadensis

 

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