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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!

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

 
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Sunday - April 27, 2008

From: Waco, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: User Comments
Title: Why website does not have better variety of flowers
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

Why don't you have a better variety of flowers? I can't find the ones I have.

ANSWER:

We're surprised to hear you say that, because at this moment, there are 6,849 plants in our Native Plant Database that each have their own webpage with description, care, etc. documented. And, in the Image Gallery, there are 21,539 native plant pictures. Possibly, the problem is the word "native." The Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center is dedicated to the use, care and propagation of plants native to North America, including Canada, but not including Mexico. We do not plant in our Gardens, sell in our semi-annual Plant Sales, nor discuss in our database any plants not native to North America, or plants that have been so hybridized that their parentage is not known. If your plants are from commercial nurseries that do not specialize in native plants, the plants are very likely not native to North America or have been hybridized for color, habit, etc.

We'd like to interest you in native plants for future garden plans. Please read this excellent article on Why Natives? from our How-To Articles. When you are curious about whether or not a plant is native, you can visit the Native Plant Database, type in the common or the Latin name of the plant, and see if it's there. Or you can ask Mr. Smarty Plants, again. If you have a plant you need identified, see the instructions for sending us photographs on the lower right hand corner, under "Plant Identification", of the Mr. Smarty Plants page. And, if we convert you to native plants, here are some Native Plant Suppliers in your area.

 

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