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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

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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Friday - July 05, 2013

From: Jodhpur, India
Region: Other
Topic: Non-Natives, Trees
Title: Tree with taproot for Jodhpur India
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

I am a resident of India. I need information of a tree with tap roots to grow in my backyard. We have moderate to hot climate here. It needs to be as small as possible due to lack of space. It'd be great if its shady.

ANSWER:

We are sorry, but you seem to have reached a wrong number. The Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center, home of Mr. Smarty Plants, in Austin, Texas is committed to the growth, propagation, and protection of plants native not only to North America, excluding Mexico, but also to the area in which they evolved. In other words, Austin is in Travis County, in Central Texas so we try to recommend plants that are native, if not to Travis County, then to Central Texas. The reason for this is that plants that have always grown  in an area have evolved to tolerate the climate, rainfall and soils and can grow without the use of too many resources, such as water, fertilizer and back muscles.

Since India qualifies on none of those counts, and we would have no idea if any of the plants we might recommend from our Native Plant Database could even be obtained where you are and, having no idea of your geography or location in India, would not know if a plant we might recommend could survive, much less flourish.

We do, however, believe that in a country as large as India there must be horticultural resources online that could help you, be they agricultural schools, teaching universities or plant nursery interests. We are going to see if we can find anything on the Internet that might get you started. After all, you found us half a world away, surely we can find some information on the same Internet.

From the Jain Book Depot, here is a list of books on gardening in India.

Blog on India Garden

Garden Guru The Online Gardening Store

Important Native Trees of India

The Times of India In support of native trees

Royale Institution E Learning India - Horticulture Classes

Hope this is enough to get you started!

 

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