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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

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!

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

 
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Friday - May 27, 2011

From: Magnolia, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Shrubs
Title: Woluld like a list of plants, shrubs, and ground cover native to Magnolia, TX.
Answered by: Jimmy Mills

QUESTION:

I would like a list of plants, shrubs, and ground cover that is native to Magnolia, TX that is deer resistant but also non toxic to dogs.

ANSWER:

First of all I’m going to refer you to the Houston Chapter of the Native Plant Society of Texas. There is a good possibility that they may have some or all of these lists on their website  .

Secondly, I would like acquaint you with some resources of the Ladybird Johnson Wildflower Center that will allow you to find such lists, or create them yourself.

Be aware that our data are not so extensive that we can zero in on the city of Magnolia, but East Texas, and possibly Montgomery County are probably within our capability.

Lets start with the plant lists by going to our Native Plant Database  and scrolling down to the Recommended Species Box. Click on “View Recommended Species” page, and you will get an enlarged version of the U.S. map. Click on East Texas, and you will get a list of 133 commercially available native plant species suitable for planned landscapes in East Texas. Go to the Narrow Your Search box to the right of the window, and you will find that there several criteria you can use to reduce the size of your list. For instance, if you select Texas under State, Shrub under habit, and Perennial under duration, and then check Sun under Light Requirement, Moist under Soil Moisture, and 3-6 under Height; clicking on the “Narrow Your Search” button will give you a list of four sun-loving shrubs that grow up to 6 ft tall.
 Clicking on the scientific name of each plant will bring up its NPIN page that has plant characteristics, growth requirements and photos. These can help you select plants suitable for your location. You can see that by changing your criteria, you can generate a variety of different lists.

Once you’ve found some plants plants that you are interested in, you can see if deer are interested in them too by checking our Deer Resistant Species page. Our caveat here at the Wildflower Center is that “a hungry deer will eat anything.”

As for toxic plants, there are several databases that we frequently use when we are asked questions about particular plants. When using these databases, its is much easier if you use the scientific name for the plant as you search the database. A list of the databases is included in this previously answered question .

 

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