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

Wednesday - January 24, 2007

From: Dallas, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Non-Natives
Title: Why is non-native, invasive dandelion called a wildflower?
Answered by: Joe Marcus

QUESTION:

Why is a dandelion a wildflower? {I read it in a book.}

ANSWER:

There is not universal agreement on how the term "wildflower" is defined. Some would say that any flowering plant that grows and reseeds itself without help from humans is a wildflower. Others maintain that a wildflower is any plant found growing in wild places. Finally, some would define wildflower as a plant found in the region where it evolved.

Common dandelion, Taraxacum officianale, is a native or Eurasia. As an introduced, exotic plant in North America, it is not considered a "wildflower" by very many people. In fact, most classify it as a troublesome - if not noxious - lawn weed. Of course, in its native lands, it would rightfully be classified as a wildflower there.
 

More Non-Natives Questions

Transplant shock in non-native Mexican Ruda
July 14, 2006 - I hope that you can help me. I planted some Mexican Ruda in a large pot. Planted it in good soil. The plant is not doing well. It's droopy and drying out. I watered it every other day. It is in t...
view the full question and answer

Problems with non-native weeping willow in Greenville NY
September 10, 2009 - We live on the border of Zones 5b and 6a and have a weeping willow that grew so much in only 3 years and did quite well. However, there are aerial roots growing on its bark as well as part of the bark...
view the full question and answer

Non-native oleander failing to thrive in Corpus Christi
May 05, 2010 - I live in South Texas (Corpus Christi). My husband planted Red Oleander in partial to full sun about 1 1/2 weeks ago. They are watered by our sprinkler system. They have recently started to bloom, ...
view the full question and answer

Plants for hanging baskets in Austin
October 06, 2009 - Can you suggest some plants for winter hanging baskets in the Austin, TX area?
view the full question and answer

Identity of plant in Kentucky with fuzzy grayish-green leaves
September 03, 2012 - I would like to know about a plant that I do not know what it is. I had this plant just come up in my flowerbed, that looked like a tobacco plant but the leaves looked like a lambs ear plant. It was ...
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