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?


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


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?


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

sources of milkweed in Bastrop, Texas
April 22, 2015 - Where can I buy milkweed in Bastrop County? Can I plant in containers in garden soil? Thanks
view the full question and answer

Availability of Cornus florida (flowering dogwood) for Central Texas
March 26, 2007 - I'd like to buy a flowering dogwood tree. Love the fall berries and spring flowers. I haven't had been able to find them at the nurseries I frequent (Great Outdoors, Natural Gardener, Breed, Barton ...
view the full question and answer

Purchase sources of Buffalograss from Corpus Christi TX
March 17, 2012 - I've heard a lot of good things about Buffalograss, but no one in my area seems to carry it. One grower actually told me it didn't grow well here and recommended St. Augustine Floratam instead. Is ...
view the full question and answer

Plants for a steep lot in Tennessee
August 07, 2008 - I have built a home on a very steep lot (approx 1 1/2 acres)in Northern Central Tenn in Jackson County. The lot is too steep to mow and some of it is too steep to stand on comfortably. My question is...
view the full question and answer

Locating source for Crataegus Brazoria (Brazoria Hawthorn)
March 20, 2006 - I want to purchase a Crataegus Brazoria Sarg. (Brazoria Hawthorn) but cannot find a source for one. Can you help?
view the full question and answer

Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.
© 2015 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center