En EspaŅol

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?


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
Can't find the answer in our existing FAQs, submit a question to Mr. Smarty Plants.
Need help with plant identification, visit the plant identification page.
rate this answer
Not Yet Rated

Friday - October 09, 2009

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


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?


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

More Medicinal Plants Questions

List of plants native to the Abilene, Texas area
September 15, 2011 - Am looking for direction to a complete list of plants native to the Abilene, Taylor County, Texas area (trees, shrubs, grasses, cacti and other plants that grew here before cultivation, eradication or...
view the full question and answer

Availability of ruda plants (Ruta graveolens) in Alabama
September 10, 2008 - I want to know is ruda plants available in alabama? If so where can I find it.
view the full question and answer

Possible medicinal uses of Spanish Moss (Tillandsia usneoides)
April 13, 2006 - I recently read an article about the healing properties of Spanish Moss. It mentioned reducing bad cholesterol in the human body. What exactly are the properties in this plant that are good for you, ...
view the full question and answer

Food and medicinal value of Parsley Hawthorn
March 01, 2013 - I have found several sites that talk about how the parsley hawthorn is edible and how the hawthorn berry in general is really great for the heart, but I did not find any mention of this on your info a...
view the full question and answer

Texas plants useful to early settlers
June 05, 2012 - I'm working on some interpretation for a prairie heritage trail in SE TX (near Houston). I'd like to know where I can find some good information on plant remedies which might have been used by early...
view the full question and answer

Smarty Plants's Facebook profile Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.

Mr. Smarty Plants wants you to be his Facebook friend. Click the Facebook icon to add yourself to Mr. Smarty Plants list of friends.
© 2015 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center