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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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Tuesday - June 03, 2008

From: Van Alstyne, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Non-Natives, Shrubs
Title: Advice about lavender (Lavandula sp.)
Answered by: Nan Hampton

QUESTION:

I recently visited a Lavender Farm just outside Gainseville Texas. I was hooked. However, when I started reading about growing Lavender I found that you should have well drained alkaline soil. Since most of the area around Dallas is hard rock clay, do you have any suggestions as to the appropriate family/type of Lavender plant I should use. Or am I barking up the wrong bush.

ANSWER:

Our focus and area of expertise at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center are with plants native to North America but, as beautiful and fragrant as it is, lavender (Lavandula sp.) is not native to North America. I can give you a list of native plants with 'lavender' as part of their common names, but I realize that's not what you're looking for. Here is a web site from the National Sustainable Agriculture Information Service about lavender production. Although lavender (Lavandula sp.) does not currently appear on any invasive species lists, I urge you to read When is a Guest a Pest? and plant any non-native species responsibly.

 


 

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