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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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Sunday - November 06, 2011

From: Schertz, TX
Region: Select Region
Topic: Seed and Plant Sources
Title: Obtaining native plants in the Austin area from Schertz TX
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

Hi Mr. Smarty Plants, I went to the plant sale this past weekend, I had a good time, there was a great selection of plants. I was there at 9:00AM Sat. and when I asked for some plants than I have on my list they were sold out. Can you please direct me to a nursery that has these plants? Sometimes I don't want to purchase native plants in a nursery because they mix native with non-native. The plants are: Black Dalea, Rusty Blackhaw Viburmum and climbing snapdragon vine. I appreciate your help, and thank you for this wonderful web site.

ANSWER:

And thank YOU for the nice words. We are sorry we had run out of some of the plants you wanted. Some of our plants are brought in by vendors and we have no control on the numbers we get. Others, that we propagate ourselves, are difficult to propagate. Your problem was that Fridays of our Plant Sales are Member Days. Our Members are savvy native gardeners, they are experienced in our Sales, and know just what they want and where it will be on the Sale grounds. The Member's Preview opens at 1:00 on Friday afternoon, and they start lining up before 11:00. When we cut the ribbon to open the Sale, all the volunteers and staff know to flatten ourselves against the wall and stay out of the way, those Members know where they are going. Many actually purchase memberships at the entrance in order to be able to get in that line. But there are many other advantages to membership, as well, and year-round. Please read this Become a Member page, and consider joining us. You won't regret it!

However, that won't help you right now, since our next Sale is not until next April. There is a Tree Talk  Winter Walk at the Center on Saturday January 28 from 9-5, where you might be able to pick up some woody plants and also learn about the native trees on the Center grounds. Admission is free during January, and there is no Member's Preview - first come, first served!

Now, back to your original question, where to buy some plant that had already sold out when you got to the Plant Sale. One caution: if we quickly ran out of a plant it may be because there are simply not enough of them around, anywhere. However, we do have a National Suppliers Directory. We tried searching on the scientific name, Maurandella antirrhiniflora (Climbing snapdragon), and got zero results. However, you can also use the Directory by putting your town and state in the "Enter Search Location" box, which will give you the names of native plant nurseries, seed companies and consultants in your general area. All have contact information so you could try calling or e-mailing them. Then, looking at our webpage on that plant again, we noticed a line that said: "Order Seed for this plant." Lo and behold, that took us to this page from Native American Seeds with information on that exact plant. Their site referred to it as a "conservancy plant," which may mean there are not a lot of seeds available, but it's certainly worth a try.

We found another link to Native American Seeds on Dalea frutescens (Black dalea), but this brought up a page saying it was not presently in inventory, so you could try the location list.

Finally, our webpage on Viburnum rufidulum (Rusty blackhaw viburnum) showed that it was available at Hill Country Natives.

We hope this will help you and others to find plants native to their area. But please don't give up on our semi-annual native plant sales. Our Spring sale in 2012 will be April 13-15, with Friday, April 13 being Member's Day.

 

 

 

From the Image Gallery


Snapdragon vine
Maurandella antirrhiniflora

Rusty blackhaw viburnum
Viburnum rufidulum

Black dalea
Dalea frutescens

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