En Español

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

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

Best vegetables to grow in San Antonio
June 06, 2006 - What vegtables are the safest bet for growing in San Antonio? Thanks
view the full question and answer

Seeds and seed pods of bluejacket (Tradescantia ohiensis or Hyacinthus orientalis
March 26, 2015 - I have lots of bluejacket flowers in my yard. I keep looking for the seed pods but can't find any seeds. Where are the seed pods located on the bluejacket flower? Thanks. Lew Dallas
view the full question and answer

Flowering problems with Mexican Plum and Mimosa in Austin, TX
March 18, 2010 - Greetings, My Prunus mexicana (Mexican Plum) did not produce flowers before its leaves. Can you tell me why? I was hoping to have some fruit this year. Also, as of this morning March 13. My...
view the full question and answer

When to Move Potted Plants Outside in Texas?
July 07, 2016 - When can I move my potted patio plants back outside? I live in Heath/ Rockwall, Texas. I have Horses tail, Croutens, and Money tree.
view the full question and answer

Problems with peonies in Indianola, WA
May 18, 2009 - My 5 year old peony plant didn't come up. I thought it was dead so I dug it up. I found a clump of thick roots. I separated them, and then realized these were probably the bulbs. It is the middle...
view the full question and answer

Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.
E-NEWSLETTER | BECOME A MEMBER | DONATE NOW | MEDIA | JOBS | SITEMAP | STAFF INTRANET
© 2016 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center