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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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Friday - April 21, 2006

From: San Antonio, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Wildflowers
Title: Information on native plants in Canyon State Natural Area
Answered by: Nan Hampton

QUESTION:

I am the Cubmaster for a Cub Scout Pack here in San Antonio. I am planning summertime activities for the kids this summer. One thing I have decided to do it take them on a hike in the new Government Canyon State Natural Area here. I would like to know about some of the plants, wildflowers, and trees local to the area. I would like to see a photo or look one up and be able to identify the plant etc. for them and tell them something about the plant, flower, or tree etc. Do you have any list etc. of plants native to this area. Being from Arizona myself I don't know a lot about the Texas vegetation. If I was in AZ I could tell them about all kinds of plants. Any help you can give would be appreciated.

ANSWER:

In our Native Plants Database section, Too Much of Texas, you can select Bexar County and pull up a list of 1272 plants with links to information and photos for each plant. However, I suspect you would like a more manageable number of plants to deal with and photographs in hand to help you identify the plants. There are several excellent identification guides available. Two that are specific to the Texas Hill Country are: Wildflowers of the Texas Hill Country by Marshall Enquist and Trees, Shrubs, and Vines of the Texas Hill Country: A Field Guide by Jan Wrede. There are a couple of general Texas guides to wildflowers that I would also recommend: Texas Wildflower: A Field Guide (revised edition) by Campbell and Lyn Loughmiller and Damon Waitt and Wildflowers of Texas by Geyata Ajilvsgi.

You might also check with the San Antonio Chapter of the Native Plant Society of Texas to see if they have lists of common plants found in the area. San Antonio Botancial Garden has an area devoted to native plants of the Texas Hill Country. You might like to visit there to become familiar with the more common plants you might see. You can also search the Native Plants Database by botanical or common name and you can also do a Combination Search using multiple criteria including Bloom Characteristics, Growth Form, Growing Conditions, and Distribution.
 

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