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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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Wednesday - April 19, 2006

From: Austin, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Wildflower Center
Title: Medicinal plants at the Wildflower Center
Answered by: Nan Hampton and Julie Krosley

QUESTION:

What kinds of medicinal plants do you have at the Wildflower Center?

ANSWER:

At the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center we have a bed of wildflowers called the Healing Garden. Currently growing in it are:

Lyre-leaf Sage (Salvia lyrata)
Yaupon Holly (Ilex vomitoria)
Agarita (Mahonia trifoliolata)
Antelope Horns (Asclepias asperula ssp. capricornu)
Lindheimer's Senna (Senna lindheimeriana)
Liatris (Liatris mucronata)
Wild Garlic (Allium drummondii)
Mexican Hat (Ratibida columnifera)
Self-heal (Prunella vulgaris ssp. lanceolata)
Purple Coneflower (Echinacea purpurea)
Evergreen Sumac (Rhus virens)
Clematis (Clematis pitcherii)
Cowpen Daisy (Verbesina encelioides)

You can visit the Native American Ethnobotany database from the Univeristy of Michigan to learn the uses of these plants by Native Americans. Purdue Univeristy in Indiana publishes A Guide to Medicinal and Aromatic Plants, a database with information about many of the plants listed above. You can also find information on the National Park Service's Plant Conservation Alliance-Medicinal Plant Working Group.
 

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