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
Not Yet Rated

Monday - March 26, 2012

From: Hurst, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Plant Identification
Title: Lily of the Valley growing in Red River County, TX
Answered by: Nan Hampton

QUESTION:

Mr. SP, I just returned from Red River County, TX where I observed Lily of the Valley growing in a very old cemetery. Is this unusual for this area of the country?

ANSWER:

There are five species of native plants in our Native Plant Database that have a common name that includes "Lily of the Valley".  They are:

Convallaria majuscula (American lily of the valley)  and the USDA Plants Database distribution map

Maianthemum dilatatum (False lily of the valley) and the USDA Plants Database distribution map

Maianthemum racemosum (Feathery false lily of the valley) and the USDA Plants Database distribution map

Maianthemum stellatum (Starry false lily of the valley) and the USDA Plants Database distribution map

Maianthemum trifolium (Threeleaf false lily of the valley) and the USDA Plants Database distribution map


If you check out the distribution maps for each of them, you will see that only one of them (Maianthemum racemomusum, Feathery false lily of the valley) is shown as occurring in Texas.  If you click on Texas on that distribution map you will see that its occurrence is in West Texas far from Red River County.  However, if you click on Oklahoma on that distribution map, you will see it is shown as occurring in McCurtain County, Oklahoma which is adjacent to Red River County, Texas; so, it is entirely possible that species could occur naturally there.

Although the distribution map for Maianthemum stellatum (Starry false lily of the valley) doesn't show it occurring in Texas, it does show it occurring both in Oklahoma and Arkansas. However, on neither distribution map for either of the two states does the occurrence of the species fall near Red River County, Texas.

My guess is that the more likely reason that you saw it there is because someone bought a Lily of the Valley plant, perhaps as a memorial tribute, and planted it there.   Convallaria majalis (European lily of the valley) is one non-native species that is sold commercially and is recommended for USDA Plant Hardiness Zones 2 - 8.  Red River County is at the northern edge of Zone 8 (8a) so this imported Lily of the Valley could survive there.

 

More Plant Identification Questions

Plant identfication
July 30, 2009 - Hello - Can you help me ID a plant? There are a few growing in grassy areas off roadways in Luna, NM. I will attach photos in photo section. Thanks.
view the full question and answer

Identification of small tree in Florida
August 31, 2012 - I live in Port Saint Lucie, FL. We have a few trees (?) growing in our yard I would like to i.d. They seem to grow quickly have smooth leaves that grow opposite one another and the underside of the ...
view the full question and answer

Plant identification
October 12, 2008 - I found gorgeous berries on a tree or large bush (about 10 feet tall) and clipped a little cluster the size of my hand. There are 6 or more, starting the size of a blueberry in lime green and growing ...
view the full question and answer

Was my grandmother growing a Honeysuckle Bush in Middleton, Idaho?
May 17, 2010 - I would like to know the name of the flowering bush that grew in the backyard of my grandmother's house in Middleton, Idaho. I remember it to be purple in color and had petals with what I used to ca...
view the full question and answer

Difference between vetch and woolly loco
April 29, 2006 - What is the difference between vetch and woolly loco?
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
© 2014 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center