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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

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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Thursday - August 06, 2009

From: Kolkata, India
Region: Other
Topic: Butterfly Gardens
Title: Butterfly plants for Kolkata, India
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

I am from Kolkata, India. I have a garden of 200ft x 50ft size, mostly shadowed by big trees. I want to attract butterflies in my garden. Can you please let me know the flowers / plants I plant for butterflies & their babies? What about artificial feeder & others required thing?

ANSWER:

We are delighted you are going to add butterfly habitat to your garden, However, our mission at the Lady  Bird Johnson Wildflower Center is to increase the sustainable use and  conservation of native wildflowers, plants and landscape. And, when we say "native," we mean native not only to North America but also to the area in which the plants are being grown. Even assuming we could find plants in our Native Plant Database that would flourish near your home, and assuming you could get a supply of them there, the local butterflies probably would not have anything to do with them. Worse, the plants from North America or Texas might become invasive in your area, take over the butterflies' natural habitat and end up driving the delightful little winged creatures away.

We did find a website, My Butterfly Garden Blogspot, on  Butterflies of India.  There are a number of links on that site that might lead you to the information you are seeking. Another website you should visit is from auroville.org on Butterfly Gardens. This site specifies they are trying to return to indigenous plant species (native to India) and why, which is our goal, as well. but for North America. With these two sites and following links and leads on them, you will hopefully find your way to a "Mr. Smarty Plants" of India. 

 

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