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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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Friday - June 22, 2007

From: Buena Cista, VA
Region: Southwest
Topic: Non-Natives
Title: Plants native to South Florida and the Caribbean
Answered by: Joe Marcus

QUESTION:

What are the plants native to South Florida and the Caribbean?

ANSWER:

There are a large number of plant species native to South Florida and the Caribbean. Too many, in fact, to even attempt to list in an email. Fortunately, there are some good online resources available to you as well as some published books for South Florida. Information regarding Caribbean native flora is more problematic.

The University of South Florida's Institute for Systematic Botany has created a very useful website, The Atlas of Florida Vascular Plants which is probably your best resource for information on South Florida plant species. Richard Wunderlin's Guide to the Vascular Plants of Florida is an excellent written resource, though not strictly limited to South Florida.

Correll and Correll's Flora of the Bahama Archipelago is a standard reference for those islands. Unfortunately, we do not know of any exhaustive references for the rest of the Caribbean. Most books available are field guides to flowering plants and are limited in scope. The Integrated Taxonomic Information System provides geographic distribution information about plants in the Caribbean but you would have to download the entire database to filter them out.

 

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