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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!

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Sunday - November 06, 2011

From: Davao., Philippine
Region: Other
Topic: Non-Natives, Edible Plants
Title: Does molasses make glutinous corn palatable from The Philippines
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

What would be the effect of molasses in the growth of glutinous corn?? Does molasses make the plant palatable?

ANSWER:

Since the mission of the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center and that of Mr. Smarty Plants is to help gardeners find plants native to North America and to the areas in which those plants grow naturally, we are not sure we can help you, but we'll give it a shot.

Since we had, quite frankly, never heard of glutinous corn, we went Internet hopping, and found this site called Agri Business Week Batik: A glutinous corn you would like to grow and eat. We picked up that it is used in North America for making starches for the chemical industry, but is considered a tasty snack in Korea, Vietnam and other Asian cultures.

The question about molasses puzzled us. From Wikipedia: "Molasses is a viscous by-product of the processing of sugar cane, grapes or sugar beets into sugar. The word molasses comes from the Portuguese word melaço, which ultimately comes from mel, the Latin word for "honey".[1] The quality of molasses depends on the maturity of the sugar cane or sugar beet, the amount of sugar extracted, and the method of extraction. Sweet sorghum syrup is known in some parts of the United States as molasses, though it is not true molasses."

So, we're wondering - were you planning to eat the corn with molasses on it or use the molasses as a soil amendment? From the Dirt Doctor, Howard Garrett, here is an article on dry molasses as a soil building product.

It appears, as we said, that we could not be much help, sorry.

 

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