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 - February 13, 2007

From: Westlake, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Plant Laws
Title: Sample city ordinances to incorporate into city code
Answered by: Joe Marcus

QUESTION:

I am looking for a source of sample city ordinances that will allow wildflowers such that we can incorporate it into our city code. My city is rural and per its master visionplan was originally published August 1992: " 1. Maintain a rural character throughout the township. 2. Ensure a stewardship of the natural features of the land. 3. Protect the quality and character of existing development. 4. Provide services and amenities for both resident and employee populations that come to Westlake. 5. Ensure that new development is in the best long term interests of those who choose to live and work in the community." But recent ordinances are in conflict with that in preserving the native wildflowers: Sec. 46-116. Height of grass and weeds on lot or parcel of land. "It shall be unlawful for any person, firm, corporation, partnership, association of persons, owner, agent, occupant or anyone having supervision or control of any lot, tract, parcel of land, or a portion thereof, occupied or unoccupied within the corporate limits of the town to suffer or permit grass, weeds or any plant that is not cultivated to grow to a greater height than 12 inches. This section does not apply to the growing of grass for grazing purposes." Wildflowers are often over 12 inches in height and the city so far has not accepted that reseeding wildflowers and caring for wild flowers (even on 1/2 acre or larger fields) is not "cultivated". And that wild flowers do not make good "hay". Specifically, some guidelines as to allowing ample time for the growing season, blooming season, and natural reseeding seaon (when they look the "worst") before the fields can be mowed again.

ANSWER:

The best source of information that we know of regarding weed laws is published on the website of Wild Ones, a non-profit, native plant advocacy group. In addition to providing sample ordinances and amending legislation, they also give excellent practical advice for dealing with municipal weed laws.
 

More Plant Laws Questions

Trees prohibited or regulated in Albuquerque
March 20, 2013 - Are there certain trees that not not allowed to be planted in Albuquerque, New Mexico because of city regulations?
view the full question and answer

Regulations for transporting plants to Texas from Florida
July 29, 2008 - We are relocating to TX from FL, I have a collection of potted palm trees and quite a few potted tropical plants (none are invasive)that I would like to bring with us, we will be traveling by car and ...
view the full question and answer

Low, Easy Care Perennials for Lake Ontario Shore Planting
October 04, 2015 - I'm on Lake Ontario in New York. I have a lake bank slope, thatís about 1/8 mile long and about 40 feet high, and is on about a 40 degree angle. It is very hard to keep clear. The bank has just been ...
view the full question and answer

Digging wild buttercup from roadside in Mechanicsville MD
May 28, 2012 - Mr. Smarty Plants, is it illegal to dig out wild buttercup in Maryland? I see them along the dirt road or just in the ditch. Since buttercup considered weed, I'm wondering what the law say about this...
view the full question and answer

Bluebonnets and the law
March 14, 2004 - Is it illegal to pick Bluebonnets?
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