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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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Sunday - April 23, 2006

From: Davis, WV
Region: Mid-Atlantic
Topic: Shrubs, Trees
Title: Native, non-invasive plants for Canaan Valley, WV
Answered by: Dean Garrett

QUESTION:

I recently purchased a home on an acre of land in the middle of Canaan Valley, WV. The front yard is flat and sunny, the back is on a ridge and is a little forest with a creek at the bottom. The trees in the back are mostly oak and maple trees. The front yard has two apple trees (don't know what kind.) I'd like to plant more fruit trees in the front, along with wildflowers, and would like to plant flowering bushes and other evergreen bushes around the house. I know the ecosystem in this area is especially fragile and unique, and would like to stick to native plants, or at least avoid any invasive-damaging non-natives. What do you recommend?

ANSWER:

What a beautiful area to live in!

Because the Canaan Valley is so singular, I'm going to first suggest you contact the West Virginia Native Plant Society and the Eastern Panhandle Native Plant Society for information about local native plants to use. They might also be able to tell you where to obtain and how to propagate desirable plants. You might also visit the Canaan Valley National Wildlife Refuge and regional Nature Conservancy sites to get ideas about what you'd like to plant at your home.

If you'd like to supplement your cultivated fruit trees with native fruit trees, you might try Common Persimmon (Diospyros virginiana) or a native plum.

Flowering shrubs native to your region include Rosebay Rhododendron (Rhododendron maximum), Mountain Laurel (Kalmia latifolia), Early Azalea (Rhododendron priophyllum), and Flame Azalea (Rhododendron calendulaceum).

For additional ideas, have a look at our Regional Fact Pack for the Mid-Atlantic Region.

Our National Suppliers' Directory can help you locate specimens for purchase.

 

From the Image Gallery


Common persimmon
Diospyros virginiana

American plum
Prunus americana

Great laurel
Rhododendron maximum

Mountain laurel
Kalmia latifolia

Early azalea
Rhododendron prinophyllum

Flame azalea
Rhododendron calendulaceum

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