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
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

Plants for a creek bank in Northern Illinois
March 26, 2009 - Hello. I live in Northern Illinois. The creek (northern exposure in a wooded area) on the back of my property has bare muddy banks and is subject to seasonal floods. I want to plant something hardy t...
view the full question and answer

Ground covers for a shady spot in central Texas
February 23, 2016 - I reside in Austin, Texas and need advice on my xeriscaping project. Portions of my front yard have always been a challenge to get grass to grow, so I have xeriscaped that area with Fairland Pink gran...
view the full question and answer

Habiturf for shady areas in San Antonio TX
November 08, 2013 - Will the Habiturf grass mentioned here do well in shady areas too?
view the full question and answer

Weed and feed for buffalograss
October 30, 2007 - What is a good winterizer or weed & feed for buffalo grass? I live in Southwest Austin.
view the full question and answer

Evergreen ground cover for San Antonio
August 03, 2011 - Is there a short, evergreen, drought tolerant ground cover which will tolerate light traffic that can be used instead of grass? San Antonio, Texas
view the full question and answer

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