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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 - September 23, 2010

From: petersfield, MB
Region: Canada
Topic: Grasses or Grass-like
Title: Growing Indian Wild Rice
Answered by: Anne Bossart

QUESTION:

Could you tell me who has the Canadian rights to wild indian rice grass. It is a drought tolerant grass used in flour production for gluten free products. thanks

ANSWER:

You have really taken us by surprise with this question as it raises the question of how an individual could ever have the "rights" to any native plant.

At the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center our mission is to increase the sustainable use and conservation of native wildflowers, plants and landscapes. We define North American native plants,  as those that existed here without human introduction. We wonder if someone having the "rights" to a plant would be counter to that mission.

The question is way out of our area of expertise and so we have consulted with a few Canadians who are active in the native plant world.  Their responses were along the lines of "who has the rights to the sunshine and fresh air".  That being said, individuals and groups do have the "right" to water that flows over property owned by other people.

We recommend you consult a patent lawyer. 

 

 

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