Rent Shop Volunteer Join

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

Please forgive us, but Mr. Smarty Plants has been overwhelmed by a flood of mail and must take a break for awhile to catch up. We hope to be accepting new questions again soon. Thank you!

Need help with plant identification, visit the plant identification page.

 
rate this answer
Not Yet Rated

Monday - March 28, 2011

From: Bowling Green, KY
Region: Mid-Atlantic
Topic: General Botany
Title: How is native range changed in the scientific record?
Answered by: Joe Marcus

QUESTION:

I am accessioning Pachysandra procumbens for the Baker Arboretum. These plants were made from cuttings of a native stand here in Warren County (Western KY). How does the record get amended to reflect a greater native distribution?

ANSWER:

Scientific data, such as botanical names, physical characteristics and species range, are all entered into the literature through valid publication.  This usually means that an article is published in a scientific (peer reviewed) journal or other publication, though valid publication can sometimes be accomplished in other ways such as publication of scholarly books or presentation of papers at scientific conferences.

Native range information can also be increased by collection, cataloging and preservation of herbarium specimens.  Databased herbarium specimens are the basis for most scientifically valid range maps.  For example, the range map for Pachysandra procumbens (Allegheny spurge) on the USDA Plants web page for Kentucky shows the species as occuring in Warren County as well as a number of other counties.  As herbaria add wild-growing specimens collected from other counties and states, the information about those new data eventually make their way into the scientific literature and onto online range maps.

 

More General Botany Questions

Night-flowering plant that blooms every five years
September 20, 2008 - What plant flowers every five years at night?
view the full question and answer

How to distinguish male and female grape vines in Gage OK.
August 19, 2012 - Are there male and female plants for wild grapes? If so, how do we tell the difference?
view the full question and answer

Smarty Plants on spines
April 09, 2005 - What do you call part of a plant that is needle-like or has spikes or bristles?
view the full question and answer

Where do plants grow?
June 23, 2007 - Where do plants grow?
view the full question and answer

Should Rock Harlequin stay green all winter?
May 28, 2014 - I have a rock harlequin that came up in a area that had been disturbed. It came up last summer/fall and the foliage survived our tough winter. I can not find anything about this plant staying green al...
view the full question and answer

Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.