En EspaŅol

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
Can't find the answer in our existing FAQs, submit a question to Mr. Smarty Plants.
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

Non-native Dietes bicolor leaves brown after freeze in Austin
January 31, 2010 - I live in Austin, and my butterfly iris (Dietes bicolor) that I've had for the last 6 years are all turning brown after the most recent freeze. Should I cut them back, with the thought being they wo...
view the full question and answer

Yellowing leaves on non-native jasmine from Austin
June 25, 2012 - Hi, I have a mature jasmine plant in the ground in a very sunny courtyard which gets watered daily. The lower leaves are turning yellow and am wondering if this is too much water for it. The top lea...
view the full question and answer

Cuttings for non-native red-tip Photinia
April 27, 2009 - We have had wonderful fortune with red tip Photinia.We would like to expand our plantings.Can red tip Photinia be propagated by hard wood cuttings?
view the full question and answer

Native alternatives for non-native, invasive bamboo in New York
March 26, 2006 - I hope you can help me. This is not about wildflowers. I'm interested in planting bamboo as a screen (25'+). I know all the pros/cons and would need to have a nursery to put in barrier. I need some...
view the full question and answer

Moving "lily of the valley" from MD to TX. Is that OK?
January 17, 2012 - My question pertains to lily of the valley. From your database, I learned that it is a native plant but only the following states were listed: GA , KY , NC , PA , SC , TN , VA , WV. I am moving from...
view the full question and answer

Smarty Plants's Facebook profile Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.

Mr. Smarty Plants wants you to be his Facebook friend. Click the Facebook icon to add yourself to Mr. Smarty Plants list of friends.
E-NEWSLETTER | BECOME A MEMBER | DONATE NOW | MEDIA | SITEMAP | STAFF
© 2015 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center