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

Tuesday - November 12, 2013

From: Garden Ridge, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Seed and Plant Sources
Title: plant labels to indicate resistance to wildfire
Answered by: Guy Thompson

QUESTION:

I have a group of students researching plants that are more fire resistant. They have learned that keeping home landscaping around a structure will help reduce the risk of a structure catching fire in the case of a grass fire or wildfire. In their research they are needing to create an innovative solution to a real-world problem. Their idea is to create labels for plants that the average shopper could see to help them know if a plant is "firewise". Do you know if such a plant label system exists here in Texas?

ANSWER:

I'm assuming that you would like to create labels that could be used by nuserymen to show clients which plant species are most resistant to fire.  I have not seen that system used in Texas or elsewhere.  What nurseries and others are doing instead is making lists of fire-resistant plants.  Examples are lists compiled in various states and some lists for parts of Texas.  More information on fire-retardant plant choices is here.  The main characteristics of fire-resistant plants are that they must have a relatively high water content and have low levels of resins and volatile oils.  Deciduous plants are also mentioned often because their bare branches in winter are less likely to ignite than are species retaining  their foliage.

It does seem useful to have some type of label or decal attached to a plant's identification tag at the nursery.  Customers would immediately know without consulting a list which are fire-resistant species.  I encourage you to pursue this timely idea with some of the nurserymen in your area.

 

More Seed and Plant Sources Questions

Seed source for thistles in San Marcos TX
April 07, 2010 - Where can I buy thistle seeds?
view the full question and answer

Seed sources for Mexican Gama Grass
August 28, 2006 - I'm trying to find a seed source for Mexican Gama Grass (scientific name is Tripsacum lanceolatum). Can you help me? Thanks.
view the full question and answer

Who does pecan grafting in Brownsville, TX?
June 29, 2009 - Who does pecan tree grafting in Brownsville TX? I planted a pecan. It is now about 8' tall, and about 3 years old.
view the full question and answer

Books and other resources to identify plants in Washington state
November 02, 2009 - We live just north of Seattle, WA on Camano Island and want to do a plant survey of our two acres. Any suggestions of books or other resources, particularly for the grasses and low growing plants? A...
view the full question and answer

Wildflower seeds for Nocona, Texas
August 13, 2008 - I have a place on Lake Nocona in Nocona,TX and am wanting to buy native wild flower seeds that will take the heat and little water. I have both sunlight and shade. I,m interested in the western prairi...
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
© 2014 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center