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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 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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Saturday - October 20, 2012

From: Lawrenceville, NJ
Region: Northeast
Topic: General Botany, Soils, Watering
Title: Native New Jersey plants to remove iron water from Lawrenceville NJ
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

Are there any native New Jersey plants that can remove iron water

ANSWER:

While this is a native plant question, the answer is not native plants. We get many, many questions in which our correspondents ask us for a plant that will do something that plants don't do. Just a few days ago, we got a question from someone who wanted a list of 40 or more plants that ate smog. Unfortunately, there is no such list because there is no such plant.

If your question means remove iron FROM water, we can give you some links to help with that, but not plants that will do it by themselves. To some extent plants need iron; please read this University of Illinois Extension article on Chlorosis.

Since we are unclear in exactly why or where you want to remove iron - whether it is excess iron in well water or city water, or just iron stains appearing on sinks or laundry - we will link you to some articles on iron, water and plants, and see if you can locate information that will help you.

From Virginia Tech University: Iron-rich soil can help remove lead

North Dakota State University: Treatment Systems for Household Water Supplies

eHow: How to Remove Rust and Iron from Water

Rutgers University Cooperative Extension Office for Mercer County

 

 

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