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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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Friday - October 09, 2009

From: Chennai, India
Region: Other
Topic: Medicinal Plants
Title: Use of North American native in India
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

I got mail from someone who is living in U.K asking me to co-ordinate for getting the "Silphium terebinthinaceum seed" from various places for one Pharmaceutical company as a business. Is it the common business every body doing? Is there any legal threat & is it worth while to do it?

ANSWER:

This is totally out of our area. Silphium terebinthinaceum (prairie rosinweed) is a plant native to the midwest in North America. We know nothing about any pharmaceutical use for it, and would not recommend it being used anywhere out of its native area. We recently received another question from someone in India saying they wished to have it for a private garden. Here is our answer:

"The Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center in Austin, TX is dedicated to the use, care and propagation of plants native not only to North America but to the area in which the plant is being grown. Silphium terebinthinaceum (prairie rosinweed) is native to 18 states in the United States and Ontario in Canada. That is the extent of our activity and expertise. We have no connections with anyone who might donate seed, and since the plant is probably not native to India, it could become a non-native invasive in your country, not a good thing."

 

From the Image Gallery


Prairie rosinweed
Silphium terebinthinaceum

Prairie rosinweed
Silphium terebinthinaceum

Prairie rosinweed
Silphium terebinthinaceum

Prairie rosinweed
Silphium terebinthinaceum

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