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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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Monday - February 01, 2010

From: Norcross, GA
Region: Southeast
Topic: Non-Natives
Title: Dwarf evergreen heath plant from Norcross GA
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

I was reading a book that mentioned a "dwarf evergreen heath plant and wondered if such a plant exist. It is suppose to have leathery leave blooms with white flowers that produce red berries used for what appears to be healing of bladder infections. The name of the book is "The Plains of Passage.

ANSWER:

The genus Calluna, heath or heather, is native to Africa, Asia and Europe,  has been introduced in other places, and is often considered an invasive weed. There are a number of plants native to North America with "heath" in their common names, but none are actually heaths. Since the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center deals only with plants native to North America, we have no information on it. See this list of heaths and heathers from Sylvan Nursery for more information.

 

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