Explore Plants

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
    
 

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

January good time to plant live oak in January from Manor TX
January 19, 2014 - I want to plant a Live Oak in January. Is this a good time to plant it?
view the full question and answer

Would like a small tree for yard in Las Vegas, NV.
May 31, 2013 - would like a small tree with root system that grows down not spread on surface. Had raywood and medesto ash tree both died of desease. Diagnosed by arborist. Stated that these trees to big for my yard...
view the full question and answer

Late-blooming flowers for Northeast PA
May 12, 2007 - We have a weekend house in Northeast PA...Poconos. Pretty rocky terrain....when can we plant wildflowers? Is it too late to plant in late May? If so, when is best? What variety do you recommend fo...
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

Need help with my Mountain Laurel in Sugarland, TX
June 22, 2011 - Texas Mountain Laurel - My plant's leaves are turning yellow and falling off. I don't know if this is caused from over watering or under watering. I have skipped days of watering to see if it will h...
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.