Contact Us Host an Event Volunteer Join

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

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!

Need help with plant identification, visit the plant identification page.

 
rate this answer
Not Yet Rated

Thursday - March 06, 2008

From: Altamont, NY
Region: Northeast
Topic: General Botany, Wildflower Center
Title: Official definition of native plants
Answered by: Barbara Medford and Joe Marcus

QUESTION:

Does the Wildflower center have an official definition of "native" plants?

ANSWER:

The short answer to your question is "no". There is not an official Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center definition of native plants, but it's not from lack of thought and effort. It has been discussed and worked on for years, and is a question we often ask ourselves. There is an excellent previous answer to a Mr. Smarty Plants question that should give you a lot of good information.

As specifically referring to Mr. Smarty Plants, when we are asked a question about a specific plant, we first check our own Native Plant Database. If the plant is not there, then we do wider research. Not all plants native to North America are necessarily on our database, but in our research, if we discover that the plant in question originated somewhere other than North America, we treat it as a non-native. We try to direct those wanting help with a non-native to resources to help them, but the focus is always on plants native to North America, not including Mexico.

 

More Wildflower Center Questions

Ways to learn more about native plants of region
March 20, 2004 - How can I learn more about the native plants of my region?
view the full question and answer

Will Copper Canyon Daisy be at the Plant Sale from Georgetown TX
March 21, 2011 - Can you find out if Copper Canyon Daisy will be sold at the plant sale? I'm having trouble finding it in any of your databases. The scientific name is Asteraceae Tagetes lemmonii. It's a shrubby ...
view the full question and answer

Color year round, welcome to Austin Texas.
December 04, 2011 - I am new to Austin and want to plant colorful flowers for fall and winter that get a "wow" reaction. I have not seen much at the local nurseries. Any and all suggestions are greatly appreciated!
view the full question and answer

Color of Englemann's daisy (Engelmannia peristenia)
April 11, 2010 - I'm in Austin and just bought some Engelmann's Daisies at the plant sale on Fri. The picture had them with white petals, and your plant database has them with yellow petals. I specifically wanted wh...
view the full question and answer

Information about person who handles invasive species at the Wildflower Center
October 01, 2015 - Would you please provide me a name, phone, and email address, of the person in your office who handles invasive species? Thanks,
view the full question and answer

Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.