En EspaŅol

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
Can't find the answer in our existing FAQs, submit a question to Mr. Smarty Plants.
Need help with plant identification, visit the plant identification page.
 
rate this answer
Not Yet Rated

Wednesday - August 10, 2011

From: Charlotte, NC
Region: Southeast
Topic: Non-Natives
Title: Plants native to Caribbean from Charlotte NC
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

Do you know of any shade tolerant plants native to the Caribbean that may be available to buy at a local nursery? I know this is a tough question to answer on many levels.. essentially, if I wanted to buy a plant (in Charlotte) native to the islands, what would you suggest? Thanks so much!

ANSWER:

Frankly, we can't suggest much of anything, because a native to the Caribbean would probably NOT be native to North Carolina. The Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center is committed to the use, propagation and protection of plants native not only to North America but to the areas in which those plants grow natively. Local nurseries always have many non-native plants for sale, but there is no guarantee that they would even know where the plant was native.

We found one previous Mr. Smarty Plants question that discusses some references to Caribbean and Florida plants. Quoting from that previous answer:

"There are a large number of plant species native to South Florida and the Caribbean. Too many, in fact, to even attempt to list in an email. Fortunately, there are some good online resources available to you as well as some published books for South Florida. Information regarding Caribbean native flora is more problematic.

Correll and Correll's Flora of the Bahama Archipelago is a standard reference for those islands. Unfortunately, we do not know of any exhaustive references for the rest of the Caribbean. Most books available are field guides to flowering plants and are limited in scope. The Integrated Taxonomic Information System provides geographic distribution information about plants in the Caribbean but you would have to download the entire database to filter them out."

We also found an article on Going Native in Caribbean Islands, which was about plants. You could possibly write down common and scientific names of some of these plants, and see if regional nurseries carried them.

 

More Non-Natives Questions

Can non-native Jacaranda be grown in San Antonio
May 17, 2011 - Can I grow a jacaranda tree in San Antonio? Wonder if it can handle heat, occasional freezes, & dry seasons.
view the full question and answer

Vine Choices Scarce in Beaverton Oregon
June 08, 2012 - Hi, I am looking for a hearty vine that we could use to cling to and cover a cement wall that is about 8 feet tall and 30 feet long. It is on the south side of our house but never gets direct sunli...
view the full question and answer

Non-native crapemyrtles changing color in Homer LA
June 23, 2009 - I have six natchez crape myrtles, 2 1/2 years old now. This year, one of them has started blooming in a lavender color. Have you ever heard of this?
view the full question and answer

Kousa Dogwood Fruit Toxic to Dogs?
October 14, 2014 - Are Kousa dogwood berries toxic to dogs?
view the full question and answer

Need suggestions for alternatives for Crape Myrtle in Washington, DC.
July 15, 2011 - What can you recommend as native alternatives to the shorter (garden-sized) crape myrtle cultivars?
view the full question and answer

Smarty Plants's Facebook profile Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.

Mr. Smarty Plants wants you to be his Facebook friend. Click the Facebook icon to add yourself to Mr. Smarty Plants list of friends.
E-NEWSLETTER | BECOME A MEMBER | DONATE NOW | MEDIA | SITEMAP | STAFF
© 2015 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center