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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

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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Thursday - February 25, 2010

From: St. Paul, MN
Region: Midwest
Topic: Seed and Plant Sources
Title: Edible Plant Resources for Minnesota
Answered by: Dean Garrett

QUESTION:

Can you suggest some references or resources that could tell me what native species would do well in a Twin Cities region edible forest? Pretty much all deciduous with buckthorn in the understory that I intend to deal with and I want to put back species that will do well. Thanks for your time.

ANSWER:

We found two regional books that should be useful to you:

More generally, Peterson's Field Guide to Edible Wild Plants of Eastern and Central North America is a standby on this topic, as is Euell Gibbons's classic Stalking the Wild Asparagus.

We also found information about a food forest garden in northern Michigan, which includes several plants that are also native to your area.

You can also go to our Suppliers search under the Explore Plants heading near the top of the screen and enter St. Paul. Several native plant restoration services are located not far from you, including Prairie Restorations, Inc., a landscape restoration service and nursery that has expanded into woodland restoration. They even do buckthorn clearing. They have a list of woodland species for purchase, some of which produce edible fruits and nuts. They have branches in Princeton and Scandia, plus four other locations farther from you.

Our Organizations search feature brought up several potentially useful regional organizations as well, including the Minnesota Native Plant Society, headquartered in St. Paul.

 

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