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
1 rating

Tuesday - January 17, 2012

From: Spring Branch, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Non-Natives, Planting, Herbs/Forbs
Title: Moving "lily of the valley" from MD to TX. Is that OK?
Answered by: Jimmy Mills

QUESTION:

My question pertains to lily of the valley. From your database, I learned that it is a native plant but only the following states were listed: GA , KY , NC , PA , SC , TN , VA , WV. I am moving from Maryland to Central Texas (southwest of your center in Austin) and I wanted to bring some of my lily of the valley from MD to TX, to plant in the half acre I just purchased. Would you approve? Some websites state it is toxic to deer, so I thought that would be a plus.

ANSWER:

The first thing we need to do is figure out which plant you intend to move. When I went to our Native Plant Database and typed in "lily of the valley". This is the list of plants that I came up with.

American lily of the valley Convallaria majuscula (American lily of the valley)       map

False lily of the valley Maianthemum dilatatum (False lily of the valley)        map

Feathery false lily of the valley Maianthemum racemosum (Feathery false lily of the valley)     map

Feathery false lily of the valley Maianthemum racemosum ssp. racemosum (Feathery false lily of the valley)    map

Starry false lily of the valley Maianthemum stellatum (Starry false lily of the valley)      map

Threeleaf false lily of the valley Maianthemum trifolium (Threeleaf false lily of the valley)    map

Clicking on the scientific name of each of the plants will bring up its NPIN page which will allow you to see if any of the plants look like yours, and also learn its growth requirements. Clicking on the word “map” following each Scientific Name will bring up the USDA Plant Profile for the plant which includes a distribution map that indicates where the plant occurs naturally.

We can plot occurrence on this matrix
                                                                                           in TX      in MD      
Maianthemum racemosum (Feathery false lily of the valley)      yes         yes

Maianthemum stellatum (Starry false lily of the valley)             close       yes

Maianthemum racemosum ssp. racemosum (Feathery false lily of the valley)                                                                                                                     close       yes     

Maianthemum dilatatum (False lily of the valley)                       no          no


Maianthemum trifolium (Threeleaf false lily of the valley)           no          close  

Convallaria majuscula (American lily of the valley)                     close       close 

From the matrix we can see that Maianthemum racemosum (Feathery false lily of the valley) occurs in both MD and TX, but only in far west Texas. Maianthemum stellatum (Starry false lily of the valley) and Maianthemum racemosum ssp. racemosum (Feathery false lily of the valley) occur in MD and states adjoining Texas. SInce Maianthemum racemosum ssp. racemosum occurs in Louisiana, it might be a candidate for growing in Harris County. However, growing plants outside their native range is counter to the mission of the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center.  And there are very good reasons for discouraging the importation of exotic species; weed, pest, and disease issues probably top the list.  So in regard to your question about approval, the short answer is no.

 

More Non-Natives Questions

Replacing non-natives and kudzu in Spartanburg SC
July 12, 2009 - I would dearly love to cut down the red tips and leland cypress, as well as the 2 Savannah hollies and 15 ft cleyera which the kudzu has overrun along my property line, get rid of a chunk of lawn and ...
view the full question and answer

Recovery of damaged fuchsia plant in hanging basket
July 23, 2007 - I had a beautiful fuchsia plant hanging on my porch. The hanger gave way and the plant fell straight down into another flower bed. The fuchsia seemed ok. I put it back in the pot put up new strong ...
view the full question and answer

Top soil dressing for bermudagrass
February 25, 2009 - Need to apply top soil dressing to bermudagrass. Can you suggest any type? This area is heavy clay soil and need to even out the lawn as well as feed the grass.
view the full question and answer

Non-native jade plant from Pauline SC
August 24, 2012 - Do jade plants grow in South Carolina; if, so where?
view the full question and answer

Insects on hybrid 'Ann' magnolia in Morrow OH
June 17, 2010 - I have an Ann Magnolia. It is covered in all kinds of stinging insects and flies. This has never happened before. Is this a common problem for the tree? What should I do?
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