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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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Saturday - September 04, 2010

From: Baltimore, MD
Region: Mid-Atlantic
Topic: Wildlife Gardens
Title: Literature on native plants and wildlife from Baltimore
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

Can you tell me a good review of the literature on the relation between native plants and ecology; for example, a study might indicate how native plants support more birds or other wildlife.

ANSWER:

The best book we know of on that subject, and one that lives on a bookshelf in our desk, is Bringing Nature Home-How Native Plants Sustain Wildlife in Our Gardens by Douglas W. Tallamy, see Bibliography below. You could begin, for instance, with the 7 pages of references in the Tallamy book. 

Beyond that, we do not know of a review of literature on native plants and ecology; that doesn't mean there isn't one.  Perhaps you can compose one of your own. One possibility is to go to our Bibliography; click on the "Select by Subject" box, which is a drop-down menu.  Click on "wildlife" and you will get 82 titles, many of them with the word "ecosystem" in the title. 

Finally, we Googled on "native plants and wildlife" and got the usual pages and pages of reports, book reviews and so forth. Many of these are either scholarly papers, university extension releases or reviews of books written on the subject.  Of course, finding a review and finding an accurate, well-researched review are two different things. Good luck with that!

 

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