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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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Tuesday - August 02, 2011

From: Burnet, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Rare or Endangered Plants, Wildflowers
Title: Information on what Texas wildflowers are disappearing
Answered by: Nan Hampton

QUESTION:

I was shocked to find that Texas Bluebells were vanishing. What other Texas wildflowers are vanishing? There is an endangered species list but I want to help before my wildflower neighbors before they get that scarce.

ANSWER:

I guess you are referring to this previous question or perhaps this one.  You mention that you have seen an endangered species list and I suppose it was the one from Texas Parks and Wildlife Department (TPWD), Endangered and Threatened Plants in Texas and the United States.  The TPWD also has another list, A List of the Rare Plants of Texas, by Jackie Poole and Jason Singhurst of Texas Parks and Wildlife Department and William (Bill) Carr of the Texas Nature Conservancy that also includes rare plants that are not yet considered threatened or endangered but are being watched. 

You will note that  Eustoma exaltatum (Texas bluebell) is not on either list.  In a communication about the status of the Texas bluebells with Bill Carr of the Texas Nature Conservancy, he said:

"Those species do fairly well around cattle and even proliferate under certain grazing regimes. Twenty years ago I did an inventory of blackland prairie openings in the Sam Houston National Forest lands in east Texas, and Eustoma was the midsummer dominant in grazed examples. ...Trespass cattle kept everything else grazed to the nubs, but they didn't touch the Eustoma."

 

 

From the Image Gallery


Catchfly prairie gentian
Eustoma exaltatum

Catchfly prairie gentian
Eustoma exaltatum

Texas bluebells
Eustoma exaltatum ssp. russellianum

Texas bluebells
Eustoma exaltatum ssp. russellianum

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