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?

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
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

Sunday - November 29, 2009

From: Delta, PA
Region: Mid-Atlantic
Topic: Rare or Endangered Plants
Title: Is crow's foot endangered from Delta PA
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

I, too, used crows foot in Christmas Wreaths. I have recently heard that is endangered and you could be fined picking it and using it. Wondering if this is a true statement. There is still lots in the woods near where I live in southern Pennsylvania.

ANSWER:

We found the previous answer from Mr. Smarty Plants you were apparently referring to. The two plants in that answer that had the common name of "crow's foot" were Lycopodium digitatum (fan clubmoss) and Sedum ternatum (woodland stonecrop); a sedum. Both of these plants are known to be native to Pennsylvania; however, it is the Fan Clubmoss that looks most likely to be a candidate for a Christmas wreath. From our Native Plant Database page on this plant: "Formerly gathered for Christmas decorations, but deforestation made it too rare to be used."

That tells you that it shouldn't be used, certainly, but it doesn't tell you if you will be fined for using it. We checked the Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources website on Endangered Plants of Pennsylvania but did not find it there. According to this USDA Plant Profile, it does, indeed, appear to grow all over the state.  We tried to find some official source that might be able to tell you more about penalties for gathering this plant; this is usually a ruling for a particular area but we are unaware of an authority in Pennsylvania that could administer such a rule. The responsible thing, in view of the information above, would be to leave it to re-establish itself, but we doubt there are clubmoss police out in the woods ready to put on the handcuffs if you pick some.

From our Native Plant Image Gallery: 


Lycopodium digitatum

 

 

More Rare or Endangered Plants Questions

Interesting native orchids in MS.
August 21, 2012 - I have a stand of 18 Cyp. parviflorum orchids which I tell only few people about. I've been an hobby grower for over 15 yrs. Recently, I noticed I has some Spiranthes growing which thrilled me. Now, ...
view the full question and answer

SITES (or CITES) accredited source for native orchids
January 03, 2012 - Do you know of a nursery which is SITES accredited which offer North American native orchids? I grow as a hobby indoor ones as well as keep my eyes out protecting the outside native ones we have: Spir...
view the full question and answer

How rare is the Devil's Cigar Fungus (Chorioactis geaster)?
November 08, 2009 - I have found a fungus called devil's cigar in the woods behind my house in Westlake Hills Texas. I read that it is rare. Is it considered rare even to Central Texas? If so, do I need to let someone k...
view the full question and answer

Growing Conditions for Yucca cernua
October 22, 2011 - Nodding Yucca or Yucca cernua: I bought many lovely plants at the Wildflower Center sale on Friday, among them, a Nodding Yucca or Yucca cernua. 24 of the 25 plants I bought are already in the grou...
view the full question and answer

Whether Venus flytrap (dionaea muscipula) is endangered
April 04, 2006 - I am a 4th grader at Whitestone Elementary School in Leander, Texas. I am in the Quest program and I am doing a project on the venus flytrap and would like to ask you some questions. 1. Is there an ...
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.
E-NEWSLETTER | BECOME A MEMBER | DONATE NOW | MEDIA | SITEMAP
© 2014 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center