En Español

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.

Help us grow by giving to the Plant Database Fund or by becoming a member

Did you know you can access the Native Plant Information Network with your web-enabled smartphone?

Share

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.

Search Smarty Plants
    
 
See a list of all Smarty Plants questions

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!

Need help with plant identification, visit the plant identification page.

 
rate this answer
3 ratings

Saturday - March 02, 2013

From: Paint Rock, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Edible Plants, Medicinal Plants
Title: Edible and Medicinal Plant Resources for West Texas
Answered by: Anne Van Nest

QUESTION:

I am a teacher of gifted and talented students in Paint Rock, Texas. We were looking for a reliable book or website for edible and medicinal plants in West Texas.

ANSWER:

There are several good books that you might consider for your library that cover edible and medicinal plants for the West Texas area (and beyond). One of the most interesting resources is Mark Vorderbruggen’s website called Merriwether’s Guide to Edible Wild Plants of Texas and the Southwest. Vorderbruggen is based in Montrose, Texas and is a petroleum chemist by day and teaches people to identify wild edibles in their local landscapes in his spare time. His website is very informative for those wanting to find, identify and use native plants in Texas.  He even includes a section on medicinal plant books that he has rated and thoroughtly reviewed for people foraging edible wild plants.

Some of the books that he has rated the highest are Herbal Medicine of the American Southwest: The Definitive Guide by Charles W. Kane and Medicinal Wild Plants of the Prairie: An Ethnobotanical Guide by Kelly Kindscher. 

Vorderbruggen includes information for beginners on how to start learning about edible wild plants. And the one book that he recommends everyone should start with is The Peterson’s Guide to Edible Wild Plants and then add additional books as needed. He does suggest that no one book will satisfy all needs.

He includes an annotated list of the edible, medicinal and toxic plants included in Jan Wrede's Trees, Shrubs, and Vines of the Texas Hill Country. The book also has good photos and identification information. It is organized by environment, season, plant type, flower color, fruit or seed pod color and use.

Other books that you might consider are Edible and Useful Plants of Texas and the Southwest: A Practical Guide by Delena Tull, and Native Texas Edible and Medicinal Wildscape by herbalist Nicole Telkes.

There is also an online article entitled Edible Wild Plants in West Texas by Amy L. Gouger and an article on the Natural Resources of Lubbock that might be of interest too.

 

More Edible Plants Questions

Identification of a cucumber-like vine with fruit
November 16, 2011 - We found tiny, grape-size white melon-like fruit on a vine, with tomato-like/cucumber-like seeds. The leaves on the vine were similar to grape or cucumber leaves, but not spiny. They were behind our...
view the full question and answer

Non Toxic Fruit Plants
April 03, 2015 - I am trying to plant on my backyard. My dog spends about 8 hours a day outdoors and I am afraid she will be poisoned. I am overwhelmed by the information of toxic trees\plants for dogs. However, I ju...
view the full question and answer

Orange/yellow fungus on a dead oak
October 04, 2009 - I have a large dead oak tree which has an orange/yellow fungus growing at the base and also high on a spot where a branch had broken off. I've read a couple of things from the internet about this fun...
view the full question and answer

Information on edible tubers of hog potato from Austin
November 10, 2011 - I inquired a while back about hog potato or Hoffmannseggia glauca. You gave me some information on the plant but no information on when the plant produces the edible tubers. Also how long does it take...
view the full question and answer

Wild plum tree failing to bloom from Simonton TX
May 04, 2013 - I have a wild plum tree that has been in the ground for 3 or 4 years and it has not ever flowered. Why? I don't know what kind it is. I dug it up from a friends yard. Her wild plum trees have flowere...
view the full question and answer

Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.
E-NEWSLETTER | BECOME A MEMBER | DONATE NOW | MEDIA | JOBS | SITEMAP | STAFF INTRANET
© 2016 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center