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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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Friday - October 09, 2009

From: Kent, WA
Region: Northwest
Topic: Poisonous Plants
Title: Datura in the state of Washington.
Answered by: Anne Bossart

QUESTION:

I have a datura species growing beneath my bird feeder. How did it get here in Western Washington?? It has the typical fragrant, tubular flowers & spiky seed pods. It has grown 3' tall & 4' wide. Amazing plant.

ANSWER:

Although you have (obviously) not seen this plant in your area before it is a widespread North American native (or naturalized ... its origin is uncertain because of its global presence).There are quite a few species across its range and a couple are found in Washington according to the USDA and NatureServe databases.

It occurs commonly in disturbed and natural areas and most likely found its way to your garden in your birdseed or was brought in by the bird themselves from a wilder area.

 

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