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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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Monday - October 19, 2015

From: San Antonio, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Shrubs, Wildflowers
Title: Native plants that do not attract any kind of wildlife.
Answered by: Jimmy Mills

QUESTION:

Hi I live in Bexar County, Texas and I was wondering what would be some good NATIVE plants that could be planted in yards that do not attract any kind of wildlife (so no berries, nuts, fruits, thick cover for shelter)? Redbud, Mountain Laurel, and Texas Lantana have come to mind since they would look pretty in the landscape of front yards.

ANSWER:

Mr. Smarty Plants is confused by your inquiry. In the scheme of nature, plants and animals interact all of the time. Plants produce green leaves which attract herbivores, they produce pretty flowers which attract pollinators, and a great number of plants provide shelter for birds and other animals.

The three plants that you mention; Redbud Cercis canadensis var. texensis (Texas redbud), Texas Mountain Laurel Sophora secundiflora (Texas mountain laurel) and Texas Lantana Lantana urticoides (Texas lantana) all produce flowers, fruits, and seeds.

I'm sorry, but I don't think that I can come up with a satisfactory answer for this question.

 

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