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

Friday - September 27, 2013

From: Austin, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Non-Natives
Title: Distribution vs. Native Distribution in NPIN?
Answered by: Joe Marcus

QUESTION:

I'm a Habitat Steward in Austin and conducting a native plant swap tomorrow, 9/28/13. I need to be able to tell people who come whether their plant is native or not. I want to use your smart phone app to look up that info. Problem: I don't know how to interpret this: DISTRIBUTION USA: AR , MO , OK , TX Native Distribution: S.c. MO & n.c. AR Is this plant not an acceptable plant if TX is not in the "Native Distribution" list? I want to also accept naturalized plants that aren't invasive. Any help you can give me would be greatly appreciated.

ANSWER:

In NPIN, "Distribution" is defined as the area where a given species is known to occur in North America.  "Native Distribution is defined as the area where that species is known to be native in North America.  In the example you gave, the plant is not known to be native in Texas, Oklahoma and in other areas outside of south-central Missouri and north-central Arkansas.

As a matter of policy, the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center does not collect for display in its gardens any plant species that are not native to Texas and goes one step further to collect only those individual plants that have a proven native provenance in Texas.

So the unnamed plant in question would not fit either of our criteria for display in our gardens.  If you use naturalized (non-invasive) species, the plant you're researching might fit your criteria.

 

More Non-Natives Questions

Problems with non-native ixora in Punta Gorda, FL
April 16, 2009 - We are having problems with our Ixora plants. The leaves turn yellow, then fall down.
view the full question and answer

Non-native Sago palm roots damaging house foundation from Keystone Heights FL
July 03, 2013 - Will sago palms roots hurt a house's foundation if too close?
view the full question and answer

Lists of edible plants in region of Pennsylvania for school project
September 12, 2006 - Please Help! I'm a grade four teacher in Philadelphia. My students and I are assigned a theme project that involves listing edible plants that grow in our region. Can you recommend a web site(s)...
view the full question and answer

Pruning of Grape Kool Aid Plant in California
August 03, 2008 - I have a Grape Kool Aid plant and was told it would grow to 6 or 7 feet tall, but it is well over that and I need to know if I can prune it and if so how?
view the full question and answer

Pruning non-native Chinese fringe flower from Austin
June 24, 2013 - When is the best time of year to prune Plum Delight? And how severely can it be cut back?
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