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?


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

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!

Need help with plant identification, visit the plant identification page.

rate this answer
Not Yet Rated

Sunday - November 28, 2010

From: Fayetteville, NC
Region: Southeast
Topic: Non-Natives
Title: Comparison of native and non-native bulbs from Fayetteville NC
Answered by: Barbara Medford


I am just a gardener seeking natives. As I could not find Crinum americanum bulbs/plants specifically, I checked further online. Here's an excerpt of what I found from the Louisiana Native Plant Society: Garden Bulbs for the South. Ogden states there are two look-alike Crinums. One is native but rare in cultivation because of its need for wet conditions (Crinum americanum), and a tropical drylander (Crinum erubescens), which is often sold as Crinum americanum ‘Robustum.’ The only difference that readily distinguishes between them is that the native is an aquatic or boggy condition grower, the tropical South American species will not grow in water, but in ordinary garden conditions. This is not the only parallel to species in the Southern United States and in subtropical South America where similar climatic conditions occur. My conclusions: I do not have the native Crinum americanum of the Gulf Coast and South Atlantic Coast. But what I have is a beautiful plant, well worth the little effort in growing. Thought you might want to know.


Congratulations on being a gardener seeking natives. In your discussion on the native Crinum americanum (Crinum lily) and the non-native Crinum erubescens, your facts are correct. The Native Plant Police will not be out to ticket you for permitting a non-native into your garden; even the most fervent native plant gardeners are sometimes guilty of allowing a lavender to sneak in or perhaps an old rose. Our main concern is that we not allow non-native invasives to take over and crowd out the native species in the garden.

Images of Crinum erubescens from Google.

From our Native Plant Image Gallery:

Crinum americanum

Crinum americanum

Crinum americanum

Crinum americanum





More Non-Natives Questions

A cactus-like plant with stinky flowers
July 22, 2013 - Because of the green parts looking like certain cacti, a friend insists that this plant she saw in Mexico is one. Its blossom doesn't have the rose-like structure that cacti have, but resembles the ...
view the full question and answer

Mercer Society of Harris County Plant Sale from The Woodlands, TX
March 15, 2011 - Love the Name! Anyway, the Mercer Society of Harris County will be having its annual plant sale late this month and as usual I will be attending. I'm trying to find some tropicals and sub-tropicals...
view the full question and answer

Crows foot plant for Christmas wreaths from Millsboro DE
November 04, 2012 - I am looking for a plant called crows foot to make wreaths for Christmas. Where do I find this plant.
view the full question and answer

Non-native lavendar to repel scorpions in Austin
August 02, 2010 - We are having a problem with scorpions in our home. A lot of them. I have heard that lavender around the doorways and windowsills will keep them out. Is this true? If so..what form? Certain species, l...
view the full question and answer

Plants for oak shade from Whitney TX
December 24, 2012 - I live in Whitney, Texas and have a number of beautiful Live Oak trees in a portion of my yard providing deep shade. Asian Jasmine grows in about 5 ft circle around them and then nothing! I have walk ...
view the full question and answer

Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.
© 2016 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center