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 Planting Questions

Young pecan trees with leaf and branch problems from Gatesville TX
November 18, 2013 - I have a young pecan tree that had very rapidly browning Leaves. They became brittle and so did the branches with affected leaves. The branches soon fell off. We treated with fungicide during that pro...
view the full question and answer

Redoing garden in Memphis TN
July 25, 2011 - Please help. I don't know much about landscaping and plants and I am re-doing my flower bed. I recently had everything pulled out and I want to start fresh. The area that I will be working with is ap...
view the full question and answer

Need help with Tulip Tree in Jacksonville,Florida
July 03, 2012 - I planted a 20 foot tall Tulip Tree last spring. The hole I dug was double the size of what the tree came in. The tree was doing well until we got tropical storm Debby. In the middle of the night t...
view the full question and answer

Time of year to plant Texas Mountain Laurel in El Paso, TX
June 10, 2013 - When is the best time of year to plant a Mountain Laurel tree in El Paso?
view the full question and answer

Transplant shock in non-native crape myrtle from Wesley Chapel, FL
June 12, 2012 - I just bought a 12 ft. crape myrtle and planted it, giving it plenty of water I think. After 3 days the leaves are wilting and flowers are falling off.
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