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Ask Mr. Smarty Plants is a free service provided by the staff and volunteers at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center.

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Friday - June 15, 2012

From: Wales, UK
Region: Other
Topic: Herbs/Forbs, Wildflowers
Title: Monarda species seed for heirloom gardens in Wales
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

Hello. I am trying to obtain seeds for the following Monarda species: - barletti, lindheimeri, russeliana, and viridissima. Our address is Wales, United Kingdom and we are hoping to obtain the full collection as part of the Plant Heritage scheme in the UK. Do you know of any suppliers who could help us?

ANSWER:

The Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center in Austin, TX is dedicated to the growth, protection and propagation of plants native not only to North America (excluding Mexico) but also to the areas where those plant grow natively. As a result, we have no information on how any seeds of any of the plants we are concerned with would do in Wales. We have been there and it is a beautiful, green country. We would certainly hate to see it overrun with one of our native plants that became invasive taken out of its normal environment. There also is the question of international movement of seeds, about which we know very little. We do know that a plant that is currently high on our invasive non-native list, threatening our beloved bluebonnets, Rapistrum Rugosum, is believed to have been accidentally introduced in a shipment of grass seeds. We wouldn't want that on our conscience.

Our plant classifications and naming codes come from the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA); while it sometimes lists a plant that may have been introduced into North America, it indicates that it is non-native.

We are going to list the species of the genus Monarda that appear in our Native Plant Database, with the exception of one: Monarda barletti. We could find out absolutely nothing about that plant, except that it might be native to Mexico. Perhaps there is some similar organization in the UK. Follow the plant links to our webpages on these plants with growing conditions, light requirements  and so forth.

Monarda lindheimeri (Lindheimer's beebalm)

Monarda russeliana (Redpurple beebalm)

Monarda viridissima (Green beebalm)

In terms of shipping the seeds, we could find no site on commercially shipping native seeds to another country. Some of the seed suppliers said they could neither send seeds nor catalogues out of the United States. Perhaps you would do better to inquire of Customs officials in your own area.

 

From the Image Gallery


Lindheimer's beebalm
Monarda lindheimeri

Redpurple beebalm
Monarda russeliana

Green beebalm
Monarda viridissima

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