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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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Tuesday - October 23, 2012

From: Elmendorf, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Seed and Plant Sources, Propagation, Poisonous Plants
Title: Source for seeds of New Mexico locust from Abilene TX
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

Is there a place to buy Robinia neomexicana native to Texas or order seed from Texas grown plants?

ANSWER:

While Robinia neomexicana (New mexico locust)  is native to Texas, this USDA Plant Profile Map shows it growing only in Culberson County (far West Texas) and Ellis County (east Central Texas), with Taylor County in between and some distance apart. This plant is a legume, and if you follow the plant link above you will note this paragraph:

"Warning: Seeds contain toxic substances, and a single seed can be fatal if eaten. Leaves can cause skin irritation. Sensitivity to a toxin varies with a person’s age, weight, physical condition, and individual susceptibility. Children are most vulnerable because of their curiosity and small size. Toxicity can vary in a plant according to season, the plant’s different parts, and its stage of growth; and plants can absorb toxic substances, such as herbicides, pesticides, and pollutants from the water, air, and soil."

So, we can neither guarantee that seeds are commercially available nor if the plant would grow in Taylor County. However, you can go to our National Suppliers Directory, and put your town and state or just your zip code in the "Enter Search Location box. You will get a list of native plant nurseries, seed suppliers and consultants in your general area. They all have contact information and you can inquire in advance about their stock. Only they would be able to tell you if seeds of Robinia neomexicana (New mexico locust) (if they had any) were gathered from Texas-grown plants.

 

From the Image Gallery


New mexico locust
Robinia neomexicana

New mexico locust
Robinia neomexicana

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