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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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Monday - March 04, 2013

From: Houston, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Water Gardens, Grasses or Grass-like, Herbs/Forbs
Title: Tropical Texas landscape from Houston
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

Do you know of any public (or at least photographed) place in Texas that has been landscaped entirely with native "tropical-looking" (i.e. evergreen but NOT conifer and NOT succulent/arid) species? This would include species like Live Oak, Magnolia, Red Bay, Cherry-Laurel/Plum, Holly, Wax Myrtle, Palmetto, River Cane, Leatherwood, Honeysuckle, Jessamine, Greenbriar, etc. I'd love to see how "tropical" a Texas landscape could look..and still be 100% native at the same time. If I had all the time and money in the world, I would try it myself. But I'm sure someone else has tried it already.

ANSWER:

As it happens, Mr. Smarty Plants has answered similar questions before:

1. Tropical-looking landscape in Austin TX

2. Tropical plants for pool in Plano TX

3. Images of tropical Texas landscapes

Now, we can't testify that all our references include only Texas natives, but this is about the best we can do for you. We certainly don't have all the time and money in the world, either; in fact, most of the Smarty Plants Team is volunteers, and the Wildflower Center is a non-profit. We think we had better just stick to recommending plants native not only to North America but to the space in which they grow natively.

 

 

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