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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.

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Ask Mr. Smarty Plants is a free service provided by the staff and volunteers at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center.

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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!

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Saturday - March 07, 2015

From: Dripping Springs, TX
Region: Select Region
Topic: Non-Natives, Deer Resistant
Title: Jasminum polyanthum Deer Resistant and Native?
Answered by: Anne Van Nest

QUESTION:

Are Jasminum polyanthum deer resistant? They are selling these plants at Trader Joe's right now so I'm assuming it's native to our area. But the instructions don't say anything about deer.

ANSWER:

Well, it's not always a good assumption that the plants being sold by a national chain of stores are native to the local area. And here's your proof. Jasminum polyanthum (pink or white jasmine) is an evergreen climber that is native to China and Myanmar. It's hardy to zone 8, grows fast and flowers prolifically. So it is a popular for this reason but it can be invasive, so watch out. Here's a reply by Barbara Medford to a previous Mr. Smarty Plants question about this plant and it's appropriateness for Central Texas.

Jasminum polyanthum, Pink Jasmine, is native to south and east China, and is therefore out of our range of expertise. The Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center is dedicated to the growth, propagation and protection of plants native not only to North America but to the areas in which those plants are being grown.

You might want to read this website forum Dave's Garden, Pink Jasmine Jasminum polyanthum, especially the negative comments. The plant is considered invasive and can apparently actually strangle other plants around it. Also, Austin is in USDA Hardiness Zone 8b and the Pink Jasmine is hardy to Zones 9 to 11. Apparently, you bought it since our recent freezes, so it may not have been damaged in your garden, but may have been damaged wherever it was being held before it was sold.

Having said all this, there are some websites that do classify Jasminum polyanthum as being deer resistant.

 

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