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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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Monday - November 12, 2012

From: Granbury, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Non-Natives, Seed and Plant Sources, Shrubs
Title: Search for non-native Rosa Rugosa for Granbury TX
Answered by: Barbara Medford


I would like to find an old fashioned Rosa Rugosa (non-hybrid) to grow in central Texas. I know I've seen them occasionally when traveling in the central TX area. I want them for their rose hips.


We also like the old-fashioned roses, but surprise, surprise, Rosa rugosa is not a native to North America. The Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center, home of Mr. Smarty Plants, is dedicated to the growth, propagation and protection of plants native only to North America but to the area in which those plant grow naturally. The reason for this is that plants that have grown for centuries in the same soils, climate and rainfall will require far fewer resources to prosper.

We do have a National Suppliers Directory, which you might try, as most of them are not restricted entirely to native plants. Enter your town and state or just your zip code in the "Enter Search Location" box, and you will get  list of native plant nurseries, seed suppliers and consultants in your general area. You might also try the Antique Rose Emporium in Brenham, TX. We became addicted to them while living in Brenham some years ago, but did understand that "antique" did not mean "native."

If you follow the Rosa rugosa link, you will get a page with lots of information on this plant, including that it is native to China, Korea and Japan. Unfortunately, that is no help in determining how the rose would do in Hood County.


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