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

Wednesday - April 07, 2010

From: Baltimore, MD
Region: Mid-Atlantic
Topic: Non-Natives
Title: Native plants more beneficial for Maryland and Chesapeake Bay?
Answered by: Barbara Medford


Why are native plant species more beneficial than non native plant species for the state of Maryland and the Chesapeake Bay?


The U. S. Fish and Wildlife Service Chesapeake Field Office has a website, Bay Scapes, that should give you a lot of information on native plants for that area. In general, we can tell you that the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center is dedicated to the use, protection and propagation of plants native not only to North America but to the area in which the plants are being grown. Plants that have evolved in an area over millions of years will have developed tolerance for the prevailing weather, provide food and cover for native wildlife and, in garden situations, require less water, fertilizer and other maintenance.

In our Special Collections, we have a list of plants native to that area, Plants of Chesapeake Bay, provided by the  U. S. Fish and Wildlife Service Chesapeake Field Office, as well. When you look at our webpage on a specific plant on that list, it will often have the benefits of the plant listed, which include butterflies or birds it may attract, wildlife browse or erosion protection.


More Non-Natives Questions

Non-native Sago Palm from Bulverde TX
June 12, 2012 - My husband's job has taken him out of state and he left me in charge of his 27 year old sago palms, (house plants, sort of bonsai). They waited until he left and then quite perversely sprouted 3 foo...
view the full question and answer

Verbena bonariensis won't bloom in Galveston, TX.
July 03, 2014 - My Verbena bonariensis is thriving, but never blooms. The plants look healthy, are about 6 feet tall and in full sun. The buds turn light purple but never open to flower. My neighbor's vb are ...
view the full question and answer

Controlling seeding of non- native, invasive Paulownia from Fayetteville TN
August 17, 2012 - My husband planted a Paulownia tree against my advice about eight years ago. This summer it has huge seed pods. How do I keep the seeds from invading the wooded area of our property?
view the full question and answer

Problems with non-native citrus trees from Mesa AZ
January 13, 2014 - We have one valencia orange tree and one naval orange tree in our Mesa, AZ yard. Just noticed some oranges on both trees have a 1/4 inch diameter hole through the skin and the orange fruit and skin a...
view the full question and answer

Dying non-native red tip photinias in Lexington NC
June 27, 2009 - Large Red Tip bushes, what can I do to keep them alive? I have a few and they are dying. What can I do to save them?
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