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

Source for purchase of native Salvia texana
February 23, 2007 - Good morning, Do you or do you know someone who carries Salvia texana? It has been impossible for me to obtain this beautiful Native Texan. Please respond at your earliest convenience with infor...
view the full question and answer

Sources for Wax myrtle (Morella cerifera)
September 21, 2006 - I live in Alvin, Texas. I am looking for a small shade tree, that is easy to care for. I only have a small area for the tree. Alvin, Texas is about 30 miles from Galveston. I saw a wax myrtle tre...
view the full question and answer

Sources of Starleaf Mexican Orange (Choisya dumosa)
March 26, 2006 - Where can we find Choisya dumosa (plant recommended for southwest area) for sale?
view the full question and answer

Source for pecan mulch used at Wildflower Center from Austin
November 11, 2011 - Hello Mr. Smarty Pants I was recently at the Wildflower Center. I saw all the pecan shell mulch and was wondering where you get it from. I noticed awhile back that it is one of the recommended mu...
view the full question and answer

Smarty Plants on garden weddings
November 19, 2004 - What native perennial plants should reliably be in bloom March 5? I am an avid gardener and having a garden wedding next year (March 5, 2005). For table center pieces, I am hoping to buy flats of ...
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