En EspaŅol

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?

Share

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
Can't find the answer in our existing FAQs, submit a question to Mr. Smarty Plants.
Need help with plant identification, visit the plant identification page.
 
rate this answer
Not Yet Rated

Thursday - February 03, 2011

From: Wilmington, DE
Region: Mid-Atlantic
Topic: Wildlife Gardens
Title: Monardas in section Cheilyctis not visited by hummingbirds.
Answered by: Joe Marcus

QUESTION:

This is a correction. In your plant database, Monarda punctata is said to attract hummingbirds, but all peer reviewed research suggests it, and other members of Monarda in section Cheilyctis, are strictly insect-pollinated. Monarda in this section were the focus of my graduate research. I've never observed a hummingbird at them in the wild or my hummingbird-filled garden. I've observed the same when growing Texas endemics Monarda fruticulosa, M. viridissima, M. maritima and M. stanfieldii. As an aside, Monarda maritima, M. viridissima and M. stanfieldii are so rare and narrowly endemic I'm surprised they're not listed as endangered. Let me know if you could use pictures of them.

ANSWER:

We love corrections!  Your information is both welcome and enlightening.  We found lots of references that claimed Monarda punctata (Spotted beebalm) is visited by hummingbirds, so learning that it is not is great information.  Perhaps some observers were confused by seeing Snowberry clearwings or other species of hummingbird moths visiting their beebalms.  Since hummingbirds do nectar at Monarda didyma (Scarlet beebalm) (not in section Cheilyctis) some may have simply assumed hummingbirds feed at all monardas.

Also, thank you for your offer to contribute images of Monarda species to NPIN!  We are always looking for sharply-focused, high-resolution images of North American native plant species to add to the Image Gallery.  Unfortunately, it is not quite as simple as us saying, “Yes, we can use that picture!” and then posting the pictures on our website.  Here is a link to the Contribute Images page on NPIN that explains what we need.  We love flower pictures, but are especially interested in excellent images of fruits, leaves, armature, whole plants and other, non-flower views of native plants.  

To boil it down, though, we need three (or four) things: 

1. The highest resolution versions available of images of North American native plant species.  The image as it comes out of your camera is almost always the best version of your pictures for our needs.  It is usually not necessary to do any post-production work on your images, though you may if you wish so long as edits do not result in an unnatural representation of the subject.  All images published in NPIN are in a 4:3 (or 3:4) aspect ratio.  Any images received that are in other aspect ratios are cropped to conform to our format.  If you’re cropping for artistic purposes, you might keep that in mind. 

2. We must have a completed and signed hard copy of our Image Contributor Form before we can publish your images in NPIN.  The form would be signed by the photographer.  If there is more than one photographer, then we need a separate form for each. 

3. Because the Image Gallery is a scientific resource, we also need data to associate with the image.  To that end, we provide an Image Gallery Spreadsheet which includes fields for all of the information needed.

4.  Finally, we like to include a short biographical statement on the photographer’s collection page for each of our contributors.  Whether or not you would like to write up a short bio with information about how and why you came to be a photographer of native plants is entirely voluntary.  However, we hope you will.  Here are links to a couple sample pages with bios like I’m talking about: http://www.wildflower.org/gallery/search_image.php?newsearch=true&id_photographer=150&id_collection= http://www.wildflower.org/gallery/search_image.php?newsearch=true&id_photographer=155&id_collection=

 

More Wildlife Gardens Questions

Plant for deep shade in Pennsylvania
April 09, 2013 - Hi! I am landscaping our house and trying to use only plants that provide seasonal benefit to bees, butterflies, birds etc. not the deer though. My question is that I have a fairly steep slope of abou...
view the full question and answer

Wildlife gardening in Georgia
February 19, 2008 - I am looking for native shrubs/flowers that will attract butterflies and/or birds. I live in Milledgeville, GA which is in central GA, 1 mile from the Oconee River. Some areas of my yard are full sun...
view the full question and answer

Need suggestions for plants for a bird/small wildlife refuge in Wichita Co, TX.
August 26, 2011 - With our continuing drought in North Texas, I'm planning to transform my small backyard into a bird/small wildlife "refuge". What types of native plants and grasses can I plant in dry, hot Wichita ...
view the full question and answer

Native plants for butterflies and birds in a park in Lampasas, Texas
May 19, 2009 - There is an area along a creek in Lampasas, Texas that I want to establish as a butterfly and bird park. There are various native plants there now, but I want to add plants that are hosts for butterf...
view the full question and answer

Plants for birds in Virginia
February 17, 2008 - Hi there, I would like to plant some bird-friendly shrubs in my backyard, here in the Shenandoah Valley. I have read that birds like winterberries, and I think they are gorgeous. But, this is mid-Fe...
view the full question and answer

Smarty Plants's Facebook profile Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.

Mr. Smarty Plants wants you to be his Facebook friend. Click the Facebook icon to add yourself to Mr. Smarty Plants list of friends.
E-NEWSLETTER | BECOME A MEMBER | DONATE NOW | MEDIA | SITEMAP | STAFF
© 2015 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center