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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.

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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.

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Please forgive us, but Mr. Smarty Plants has been overwhelmed by a flood of mail and must take a break for awhile to catch up. We hope to be accepting new questions again soon. Thank you!

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Thursday - July 12, 2012

From: Greensboro, NC
Region: Southeast
Topic: Water Gardens, Planting
Title: Planting times for aquatic plants from Winston Salem NC
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

I need to know the correct time of year to plant the following pond plants Swamp Rose Mallow, Southern Blue Iris, Soft Rush, American Bur-reed, American lotus, Woolgrass and Duck Potato Is it better in spring? fall? by species job is in Winston Salem NC

ANSWER:

Since all the plants you asked about are native to North America, and therefore in our Native Plant Database, it looks like you started out with our database (which we appreciate) and are asking about those that had no Propagation Instructions in them. We are always touched when our correspondents believe we know everything about native plants, but usually we just know what it is our database.

We are going to see what we can find on the Internet. You can do this by following each link below, scrolling down the page of our webpage on that plant and, under Additional Resources, click on Search Google on (_plant name____). Obviously, you are planning a water garden, as these are all aquatics.

You probably already know you will seldom find these at a big box store with a nursery, and will have to go to specialty water gardening shops. The people there should be more knowledgeable than we are, and  can give you help on propagation methods and seasons. If you have difficulty locating these specialty shops, go to our National Suppliers Directory, fill in your town and state or zip code in the "Enter Search Location" box. This will give you a list of native plant nurseries, seed companies and consultants in your general area. All have contact information so you can check for availability before you start driving.

Hibiscus grandiflorus (Large-flowered hibiscus) - Floridata

Iris virginica var. shrevei (Shreve's iris) - U. S.Forest Service, Celebrating Wildflowers,

Juncus effusus (Common rush) - North Creek Nursery,

Sparganium americanum (American bur-reed) Center for Aquatics and Invasive Plants

Nelumbo lutea (American lotus) - Center for Aquatics and Invasive Plants

Scirpus cyperinus (Woolgrass) - Illinois Wildflowers

Sagittaria latifolia (Broadleaf arrowhead) - Illinois Wildflowers

 

From the Image Gallery


Shreve's iris
Iris virginica var. shrevei

Common rush
Juncus effusus

American lotus
Nelumbo lutea

Woolgrass
Scirpus cyperinus

Broadleaf arrowhead
Sagittaria latifolia

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