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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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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!

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Sunday - May 22, 2011

From: Wichita , KS
Region: Midwest
Topic: Invasive Plants
Title: Skunk cabbage to repel rabbits in Wichita KS
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

I would like to find a skunk cabbage plant or oil of skunk cabbage to drive away rabbits from my garden.. It does work for several yrs ago I purchased a plant from a garden shop but can not find it now!! Thanks so much for your help.

ANSWER:

Are you sure? For all we know, Symplocarpus foetidus (Skunk cabbage) is an attractive smell to rabbits. Some time ago, we received a question from Houston TX regarding purchasing the plant in their area:

"QUESTION:

Can you find skunk cabbage in the Houston, Texas area?

ANSWER:

No, but why should you want to? Symplocarpus foetidus (skunk cabbage) is native to northeastern states, and wouldn't grow in such a lush, warm climate as Houston.

There have been two previous anwers to questions on this:

May 19, 2009

April 15, 2006"

As you can see from this USDA Plant Profile Map, this plant does not grow natively to Kansas, and we can't think why any nursery would carry such a smelly, invasive plant. Personally, we go out into our garden for the sweet fragrance of our flowers, not something that smells like rotted meat to attract flies. If it grew natively to your area, you would probably be writing to us trying to find out how to get rid of it, as it is invasive and almost impossible to control in its moist natural habitat, in the Northeastern United States.

 

 

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