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

Monday - August 23, 2004

From: Hoboken, NJ
Region: Northeast
Topic: Wildflowers
Title: Smarty Plants on wildflower collecting
Answered by: Stephen Brueggerhoff

QUESTION:

Is wildflower collecting a good school activity?

ANSWER:

Collecting plants for school projects is a great way to start the concept of "botanizing" in the formative years. One must keep in mind, though, to collect responsibly, and a photo and small sample is appropriate. There are other considerations, such as health of population found, commonality (i.e. is it a rare plant species); these can be managed with proper identification. Also, appropriate places from which to collect. Obviously, it is not a good idea to collect on the roadside (hazards of oncoming traffic, collecting on private property, etc). I recommend talking to the instructor of the class to see if he/she may either make some recommendations for appropriate places to collect, or maybe that person can also make arrangements for the students to collect specimens. We do provide an article from our Native Plant Information Network"Guidelines for Seed Collecting", which covers issues concerning proper collecting practices that may be applied to collecting vegetative specimens. We also offer a publication, entitled "Alternatives to Wildflower Collecting", addressing issues surrounding plant collecting for primary/secondary school projects.
 

More Wildflowers Questions

Care of native black-eyed susans after blooming
September 30, 2004 - What is the best way to take care of black-eyed susans once they have lost their blooms? Am I supposed to cut them down to the base, or just let them die out naturally. Also, they all have a white re...
view the full question and answer

Date for visitor from England to see bluebonnets
February 04, 2010 - Hi there I live in England, and I'm planning a trip to Texas to photograph the wildflowers around Austin and the hill country. I especially want to photograph bluebonnets. I can be in Texas either...
view the full question and answer

Garden planning for wedding in Tallahassee
July 18, 2012 - Dear Mr. Smarty Plants, I would love your advice on creating a Wildflower Garden Plan. Earlier this spring in Tallahassee (North Florida). I sowed Wildflowers for the first time to see what would blo...
view the full question and answer

Deadheading or trimming back of Asclepias spp
July 29, 2005 - I have some butterfly weeds (flowers) and I have heard conflicting stories as to how to cut them back. Should they be deadheaded to elongate bloom time or does that prevent any seeds from replanting?...
view the full question and answer

Smarty Plants on Iris native to Louisiana
May 19, 2005 - A friend of mine has discovered white iris growing alongside of a swampy habitat in southeast Louisiana where there are blue, yellow and copper/red irises. We presume it is wild because it is in a na...
view the full question and answer

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