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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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Friday - January 05, 2007

From: New Orleans, LA
Region: Southwest
Topic: Wildflowers
Title: Wildflower seeding for hurricane-damaged areas of New Orleans
Answered by: Joe Marcus

QUESTION:

I need some information. I am going to be traveling to New Orleans in two weeks to visit a relative. They are in an area that was decimated by the hurricane. Though they have rebuilt the neighborhood looks like a war zone. I wanted to take flower seeds to plant in those areas. Can you tell me what kinds of flower seed would work. I will just be spreading them out (no bulbs or anything that needs much time to plant) I know that you have been so great about helping Texas be beautiful so I hope you can give me the information for LA. Can you also tell me where I might be able to purchase these seeds? I have attempted to find the department in LA that handles this but have been unsuccessful (they probably have more important things to deal with)so if you refer me to them, please let me know exactly what department/and who?.

ANSWER:



What a wonderful idea!

Here is a link to a page on the Louisiana Department of Environmental Quality website. It includes well-written instructions on soil preparation and an excellent species list suitable for your project. You do not have to go to all the trouble described in the article during site preparation - simply scattering the seeds and going over them with a rake to improve soil contact will work well enough for many seeds - however, the extra effort will probably yield the best results. Of course, we do recommend that you select Louisiana native plant species (those designated with an"N" in the "Origin" column of the table.

Unfortunately there doesn't seem to be a Louisiana native plant seed company in business today. Your best seed source may be Native American Seed, a Junction, Texas-based company. Their staff is very knowledgable and helpful and purchasing your seeds through the link above helps support the Wildlflower Center.
 

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