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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 is a free service provided by the staff and volunteers at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center.

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Saturday - February 26, 2011

From: Austin, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Pollinators
Title: Artist's project on protecting pollinators in Austin
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

I am designing a citywide artist's project to protect and preserve local, natural pollinators (with an emphasis on honeybees). What nectar-rich plants would you recommend for this type of project?

ANSWER:

Well, you are in luck. On our Recommended Species page, there are several lists of plants for Central Texas pollinators that will be of use to you. The first of these lists is Butterflies and Moths for North America. When you follow this link, you will get a list of 354 plants native to North America that are considered important for pollinators. In the sidebar on the right-hand side of that page, click on "Texas" on the drop-down State menu, and then NARROW YOUR SEARCH at the bottom of the sidebar. That will give you 194 plants that are native to Texas. Click on any of those plant links, and you will not only get information about the plant itself, but also, in most cases, about the pollinators for that particular flower. Look in the Benefits section close to the bottom of the page.

Next, go to Wildflowers of Central Texas, where you will get links to 31 wildflowers native to Central Texas; each link that you follow will take you to the page on that plant and, again, the Benefits paragraph will usually give you information on the pollinators of that plant.

Third, go to the Ann and O. J. Weber Butterfly Garden, where there are pages and pictures on 278 plants in that garden on the grounds of the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center. You know those are all native to Central Texas, because they ARE in Central Texas, and that's what we have in our Center gardens.

We're not done yet!  Check out the Special Collection on Hummingbird Plants for Central Texas.

Obviously, there will be overlaps among these lists. On any plant, you can go to the bottom of the plant page and check on the "Search for (name of plant) in USDA Plants." When you get to that page, click on the map of Texas at the bottom of the page. This will give you a picture of the state of Texas. The green county areas on that map will represent counties where the specific plant is found growing naturally.

We hope this helps you locate the information you need.

 

 

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