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
Not Yet Rated

Tuesday - July 23, 2013

From: Iowa City, IA
Region: Midwest
Topic: Grasses or Grass-like
Title: Is Milium effusum 'aureum' native to North America from Iowa City, IA
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

I have seen the cultivar grass milium effusm aureum described as a native of both Europe and the N. America. Both continents HAVE a subspecies of m. effusum. Which is more accurate; is MEA a cultivar of an American or a Euro plant--or both?

ANSWER:

There is a plant, Milium effusum (American milletgrass), in our Native Plant Database which would, by definition, contain no cultivars nor hybrids and certainly no non-natives to North America, so we cannot give you much more definitive information.

Going to the Internet, we found this article on Milium effusum 'Aureum' from the Royal Horticultural Society which is, of course, in Great Britain. From Plants for the Future we found this article on Millium effusum, referred to as "wood millet," which included this statement on its range:

"Europe, excluding the Meditteranean, east to Siberia and the Himalayas." There don't seem to be any laws saying that botanists have to name the same plant a different name in every country. Botanists have meetings to decide things like that; we don't suppose they got around to this one, yet.

According to our database, this plant does grow natively in Iowa, but we can't get the USDA Plant Profile site to respond, giving us the counties in Iowa where it grows, perhaps they went home early today. Since we have no pictures of it in our Image Gallery, here are some from Google.

 

 

 

 

 

More Grasses or Grass-like Questions

Ground cover to control hillside erosion in Illinois
May 04, 2014 - I have seen some other questions regarding native plants for erosion control, but I am looking specifically for plants that will do well on a hill in partial to full shade. I am told the soil in our a...
view the full question and answer

Grasses for Erosion control in Iowa
September 27, 2012 - We have a sloping yard in the midwest that gets 2-4 hours of sun during the warm weather. When we have large rainfalls, the water just pours down the slope causing a lot of erosion to the surrounding ...
view the full question and answer

Native grasses for medians in Colorado Springs
June 11, 2010 - Our city has stopped watering our historic landscaped medians due to severe budget shortfalls. The medians were historically tree boulevards but have had curb and gutter and blue grass added over th...
view the full question and answer

Photos of Muhlenbergia rigida (purple muhly)
August 31, 2011 - I have some potential images of Muhlenbergia rigida / Purple Muhley, I would like to share. (at the suggestion of a fellow blogger). Let me know if that plant is needed - thanks!
view the full question and answer

Grass for Seattle Arboretum
May 20, 2012 - I am writing to you on behalf of the Arboretum at South Seattle Community College Arboretum. I am interested in Panicum virgatum Switch Grass as a plant for a very heavy clay garden in our Arboretum a...
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