Rent Shop Volunteer Join

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
23 ratings

Saturday - March 23, 2013

From: Fairfield, CA
Region: California
Topic: Problem Plants
Title: Smoking mint instead of tobacco from Fairfield CA
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

I realize this is a stupid question, but i am a little curious about this. Anyway I heard more people are smoking mint leaves to help cure their addiction to tobacco and i was wondering if it is safe? I know that smoking in general is bad, but i want to know if there is anything specific in mint that can harm the lungs.

ANSWER:

There are several reasons why this question falls out of Mr. Smarty Plant's expertise. Our focus is on the growth, propagation and protection of plants native not only to North America but to the area in which those plants grow naturally. There are170 plants in the Lamiaceae (mint) family native to North America, but you are probably asking about the mints native to the Meditteranean area of Europe, widely used for fragrance and food flavoring. So that's the first reason we wouldn't be able to answer questions about smoking it. The second reason is that our first name is "Smarty," which precludes our making any comment at all on the wisdom of sticking any burning plant in our mouth and inhaling the fumes.

 

More Problem Plants Questions

Clearing out non-native Himalayan blackberry
January 25, 2009 - Can you recommend a way to clear an area of Himalayan blackberry? We have cut the canes back but wish to eliminate them completely so that we can replant that area with native plants attractive to wil...
view the full question and answer

Eliminating agave roots in Tonto Basin AZ
April 22, 2009 - Greetings Mr. Smarty Plants, from Tonto Basin, AZ! We have numerous mature (huge!) Agave Americana plants here, and have, until recently, enjoyed them. However, we are now ready for a drastic landscap...
view the full question and answer

Identification of a plant with winged stems in Texas
July 08, 2013 - Dear Mr. Smarty Pants, We live in Denton Texas & our backyard is being taken over by a very woody type weed or bush. The most distinguishing characteristic is that long thin vertical ridges or fins...
view the full question and answer

Pruning Roughleaf dogwood
November 28, 2013 - We put 5 rough-leaf dogwoods along our side deck; having been told (by the local, natural plant seller) that they would reach a maximum height of 6 feet. They have grown taller than that (despite som...
view the full question and answer

Young huisache trees dying
October 02, 2015 - We have had several young huisache trees suddenly die. These trees are only three or four years old and were apparently healthy when they just died. They are growing by the curb on a city street and w...
view the full question and answer

Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.