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
2 ratings

Friday - February 11, 2011

From: Pisgah Forest, NC
Region: Southeast
Topic: General Botany
Title: Use of native non-vascular plants from Pisgah Forest NC
Answered by: Joe Marcus

QUESTION:

Dear Mr. Smarty Plants, Some of the smartest native plants around to use as horticultural choices don't require any chemical fertilizers, pesticides or herbicides; tolerate extreme weather including freezing temps; and provide year-round green -- our indigenous bryophytes -- mosses, liverworts and hornworts. The environmental benefits of bryophytes include elimination of ground water contamination and reduction of air pollution. Yet, mosses and their cousins are often overlooked, ignored or forgotten when making decisions about native plants for sustainable landscapes, green roofs or lawns. Are you aware of any horticultural research that examines the benefits of moss versus grass lawns or that focuses on specific bryophytes appropriate for a range of environmental applications and solutions?

ANSWER:

We can't disagree with you at all!  Bryophytes are fascinating and immensely important constituents of all healthy terrestrial ecosystems.  We have given considerable thought to including mosses, liverworts, hornworts, lichens, fungi, algae and other non-vascular plants or plant-like organisms in our research and outreach.  But, while we are not ruling out that possibility for the future, we believe that the study of the vascular, seed-bearing plants of North America provides more than enough work for us to do and is true to the "wildflower" in our institution's name and mission.

Since we do not study bryophytes, we have no knowledge of existing horticultural research involving them.  However, we're confident that if any has been done, most such research can be easily found by doing some simple Internet searches.

 

More General Botany Questions

Century plant dying after bloom
August 12, 2007 - My century plant is so tall that it is up to the top of the telephone pole top lines that carry our streets electric. I was wanting to know if you knew if I cut the stock off would it save the plant ...
view the full question and answer

Consequences of overwatering plants
February 05, 2010 - Explain how an error on the high side when watering would affect soil fertility management, IPM efforts?
view the full question and answer

Help with Science Fair project from Danbury CT
January 12, 2012 - Hello Mr Smarty, I was going to do my science project on weevils and their impact on milfoil. The weevils are in hibernation until spring and my project is due in mid-Feb. Any suggestions on a simil...
view the full question and answer

Comments on white-flowered Mountain Laurel from Austin
December 23, 2012 - Following up on the August 23, 2012, question from Driftwood about the white-flowering mountain laurel, I have found a few more leads to explore. First, there are four more images of white-flowering m...
view the full question and answer

Carolina wolfberry blooms but doesn't produce fruit
May 10, 2012 - I have had my carolina wolfberry for 2 years now ( I got it at the Wildflower center), it seems to be doing well, creeping all over the flower bed with some branches on the ground up to 6 ft long. It ...
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
© 2014 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center