En EspaÑol

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
1 rating

Friday - July 30, 2010

From: Porter, IN
Region: Midwest
Topic: Best of Smarty
Title: Grave plants in Indiana in 1914
Answered by: Nan Hampton

QUESTION:

I'm doing research on the landscape surrounding an elaborate family cemetery constructed in NW Indiana in 1914. Previous research noted that "grave plants" were planted along the short retaining walls surrounding the cemetery, but they did not specify what type of plants. What plants were known as "grave plants" during that time period? Thank you

ANSWER:

Mr. Smarty Plants found an interesting article on the web page of the International Cemetery, Cremation and Funeral Association - ICCFA (formerly known as Association of American Cemetery Superintendents – AACS).  The article, Trees, Shrubs and Plants for the Adornment of the Cemetery by William Crosbie, was first published in 1906 in the AACS – Proceedings of the 20th Annual Convention held in Detroit, Michigan on August 21, 22 and 23, 1906.  There are other articles listed under links at the bottom of the article's page (e.g., Evergreens and Ornamental Grasses for Cemetery Planting and Floral Decoration of Cemeteries) and all are from the period of 1900-1919.  Here are a few of the Indiana native plants that are mentioned in the various articles:

Mahonia repens (creeping barberry)

Juniperus communis (common juniper)

Quercus alba (white oak)

Quercus rubra (northern red oak)

Pinus strobus (eastern white pine)

Many plants listed in the articles are not Indiana and/or North American natives.  You can determine their nativity by either looking in the USDA Plants Database (use the botanical name if it is given in the article) where they indicate if it's Introduced (I) or Native (N).  The distribution map will tell you if it is found in Indiana. You can also search in our Native Plant Database (again, use the botanical name if it is given in the article) and if you find the plant there, it is a North American native.  You can then look under DISTRIBUTION to see if it occurs in Indiana.  No doubt many of the plants around the family cemetery you are researching were not native either, but you will be able to tell by using these two websites.

 

More Best of Smarty Questions

Is common yarrow a Texas native?
October 16, 2009 - Dear Mr. Smarty Plants, Is common yarrow Achillea millefolium a Texas native? Please enlighten me.
view the full question and answer

Growing Native Plants in Juniper litter from Wimberley, TX
October 04, 2010 - Junipers create an environment under their canopy that prohibits growth of other plants. I have a virgin lot that has been cleared of many juniper but has remaining heavy natural leaf mold containing...
view the full question and answer

Pot on a pillar in a pond in Pflugerville
April 26, 2010 - No question: Just a thanks to Barbara. You can't imagine how hard I laughed when I read the interpretation that I was going to plant Maximilians in a pot on a pedestal in the middle of a pond!!! S...
view the full question and answer

Help! The deer are eating my landscape.
March 14, 2004 - Help! The deer are eating my landscape. Is there anything I can plant that they won’t eat?
view the full question and answer

Need bug repelling plants in Arlington, VA
February 08, 2010 - What kind of plants are best bug repellents, and need little or no maintenance. I'm a city girl and don't like bugs (spiders)
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