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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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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

QUESTION:

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

ANSWER:

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.

 

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