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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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Monday - January 17, 2011

From: Oaxaca , Mexico
Region: Other
Topic: Non-Natives
Title: Landscaping for property in Oaxaca Mexico
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

I don't know if you can help me with this. I am building a house in Oaxaca Mexico, and I want to use native plants in the landscape. We are on the coast where it stays warm all the time. Do you know Mexican plants? If not, can you guide me in the right direction?

ANSWER:

Sadly, we probably can't help you much. We weren't sure if you were referring to Oaxaca, the capital of the province Oaxaca, or the province itself. We took a guess that it was the city, which is in the fertile Central Valley of Oaxaca. The reason we cannot give you much help is that the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center is dedicated to the growth, protection and propagation of plants native to North America, excluding Mexico. We do not exclude Mexico because we are gringo snobs, but because there is very little horticultural information available for Mexico. We could not even establish a Hardiness Zone for the area, like our USDA Plant Hardiness Zone maps. However, we know that it is far south of the United States-Mexico border, so we can't make a guess about whether any plants native to both sides of the border would be native to Oaxaca.

We suggest you make friends with some nursery owners for suggestions, and certainly drive around the neighborhood surveying what you see growing, and whether you like it. If you can learn some plant names, you can Google them for information on what grows best and where.

We did find this online article about Oaxaca, which includes information on plants and the growth zones in that area. Perhaps this will give you leads to other information.

 

 

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