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
2 ratings

Saturday - April 07, 2012

From: Houston, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Cacti and Succulents, Herbs/Forbs, Trees, Wildflowers
Title: Native plants of Taos and Los Alamos NM from Houston
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

Hi, Mr. Smarty Plants, can you recommend a guidebook for the native plants of the Taos/Los Alamos region? (I'm most interested in forbs.) I'll be headed there in May--is there anything I should especially look for? Thanks very much.

ANSWER:

We recommend that you begin with the Native Plant Society of New Mexico. Here is the website for the Taos Chapter; they are planning a Discovery Hike for May 12, and we suggest you contact them as soon as possible and inquire about guesting on that. This is a list of books you can order. You might try searching Amazon for some of these books, if you find a title that interests you, but the address of the member in charge of books, with a web address is included on that website. We found only one website that specifically dealt with the area you are interested in: Native Plants of Northern New Mexico; unfortunately, when we looked at it, many of the plants listed were non-natives, apparently more for the purpose of gardeners in that area than for botanical study.

Go to our Native Plant Database, and search on New Mexico, which will give you 2,207 results. From that list, you can sort on the sidebar on the righthand side of the page for types of plants, such as tree, shrub or forbs under General Appearance. When we searched on forbs (herbs), we got 1,285 results.If it is in our Native Plant Database, it is native to North America. You can check on our website whether it is native to Northern New Mexico. Follow any plant link from your selection of New Mexico plants to our webpage on that plant, go to the bottom of the page to "Search USDA Plants for (name of plant) and it will take you to a map that that will show states where that plant grows naturally in green. Click on New Mexico (if it's green) and you will get a map of the state with counties where the plant grows in green. You no doubt know that Taos County is on the north central border with Colorado, and Los Alamos County is directly south.

You can use those techniques to establish what on the Northern New Mexico list is native, and make sure that the natives you locate are growing in those two counties. At the same location at the bottom of the webpage on each plant webpage there is a link to Google on that plant. That can give you an opportunity to get more information on the plant, perhaps view some pictures we do not have in our Native Plant Image Gallery.

Otherwise, your best bet for a booklet of the sort you are looking for is probably a bookstore or gift shop in the hotel in Taos. Have a wonderful trip!

 

 

More Wildflowers Questions

Is Fern-like Plant with White Flower Poison Hemlock?
May 06, 2014 - I have a fern-like plant which produces white flowers that uncurl from the stem as the plant starts to grow. Is this poison hemlock?
view the full question and answer

Plant Identification from Decatur GA
June 14, 2012 - Hi: In early May 2012 we visited the Center--fantastic. There was a large shrub/tree with yellow blooms near a silo. Is it Retama? Also there was a lot of a purple blooming plant in with the conef...
view the full question and answer

Tidying up Copper Canyon Daisies in San Antonio
March 30, 2010 - We have a small bed with 4 copper canyon daisies. We cut them back in the fall but have not pruned them during growing season; as a result they become a big tangle by September. Should they be pruned ...
view the full question and answer

The most common wildflower in the United States
July 29, 2014 - What is the most common wildflower in the United States?
view the full question and answer

New York City Native Perennials for a Long Growing Season
May 31, 2013 - Which native New York City perennials would be best for the longest growing season?
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