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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

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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Wednesday - May 25, 2016

From: Austin, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Non-Natives, Cacti and Succulents
Title: Questions about hollyhocks and yucca
Answered by: Nan Hampton

QUESTION:

I have 2 questions. In Western N.Y. State the hollyhocks grow like weeds but add color with their large stalks. I've sent for seeds and the best I can do in N.W.Travis county is 9 inch plants that die. Is it possible to grow them here? Love the individual white blooming yucca. They grow wild and are used for yard plants. I would like one but don't seem to find them at plant stores. Any ideas? Richard Troiano

ANSWER:

First of all, hollyhock (Alcea rosea) is not native to North America; and, since the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center is dedicated to the preservation, conservation and promotion of the use of plants in their native North American habitats, we are the wrong organization to ask about care of hollyhocks.  I suggest you address your question about hollyhocks to one of the gardening forums such GardenWeb.

As for the yucca, you may be referring to the one native to the Austin area Yucca rupicola (Twistleaf yucca).  You can look for native plant suppliers in our National Suppliers Directory by typing your city into the "Enter Search Location" slot. 

 

From the Image Gallery


Twistleaf yucca
Yucca rupicola

Twistleaf yucca
Yucca rupicola

Twistleaf yucca
Yucca rupicola

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