Rent Shop Volunteer Join

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
Not Yet Rated

Thursday - September 03, 2009

From: Washington, DC
Region: Mid-Atlantic
Topic: Seed and Plant Sources
Title: Source for Carex blanda in Washington DC
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

Dear Mr. Smarty Plants, After reading your recommendations, Carex blanda seems to be a suitable evergreen native plant for a small pond island planter I am making for our small backyard turtle pond. The purpose of the island is to both be a basking place for the turtle while the plant roots dangle in the water and act a filter. I am looking for a native that is not too tall lest it make the island planter prone to flipping and evergreen so that it might filter the water, at least during warm periods, when deciduous plants would be dormant. However, I can' find Carex blanda plants. Where can I buy them?

ANSWER:

Carex blanda (eastern woodland sedge) is evergreen, perennial, grows 1 to 3 ft. tall, has high water use, can grow in sun, part shade or shade, and prefers moist to mesic conditions. It frequently occurs in swampy conditions. The only thing we could not establish definitely was whether it would be all right with its roots dangling in water all the time. We believe it would be, as long as it had lots of dirt to let its roots draw nutrients and trace elements from the soil. An article from Illinois Wildflowers on Common Woodland Sedge has more information. 

In terms of finding a source for it, go to our National Suppliers Directory, type in Washington DC in the "Enter Search Location" box, and you will get a list of native plant nurseries, seed suppliers and landscape and environment professionals in your general area. They all have contact information, so you can inquire about availability by phone or e-mail. Since this is sometimes considered a weed, you are probably going to have to plant seeds, and grow your own little starter plants. Your chances of getting seed are much better than of being able to  buy bedding plants in your area, even though the plant is native to the whole East Coast. The seed companies, in particular, should be able either to supply you via mail order or to refer you to someone who can, or even special order it for you. You shouldn't need much as it will propagate itself. 

From our Native Plant Image Gallery


Carex blanda

Carex blanda

Carex blanda

Carex blanda

 

 

More Seed and Plant Sources Questions

Sources of information on native plants iin Ypsilanti, Michigan area
January 26, 2006 - Hello, I am a scout with Troop 243. I am interested in knowing if you have information available to give me regarding the Native Plants that have been discovered in the Ypsilanti, Michigan area. I n...
view the full question and answer

Source of seeds or plants for 5 regions of Virginia
August 22, 2015 - I am a teacher and am planning a lesson about regional plants of Virginia. I would like to create a type of planter where we can plant seeds from each of the 5 regions in Virginia (Appalachian Platea...
view the full question and answer

Plants that ducks will not eat
May 12, 2009 - I own a lot of ducks and see a lot of people asking what kind of plants will they "NOT" eat... I know of some through experience.. Anything with shiny leave.. They don't touch my English ivy, rose...
view the full question and answer

Finding Buffalograss Sod in the Houston Area
January 23, 2011 - Do you have a source for Buffalo Grass plugs or sod in the Magnolia/ Houston area?
view the full question and answer

Colorful plants for window boxes in Indiana
May 26, 2009 - I want to find plants with lots of color that will fill two window boxes and trail out of the boxes and look full and nice throughout the summer. I live in Northern Indiana and the window faces south...
view the full question and answer

Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.