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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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Sunday - June 08, 2008

From: Salt Lake City, UT
Region: Rocky Mountain
Topic: Non-Natives
Title: Non-native Jasmine trachelospermum jasminoides in Utah
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

Bought (4) Star Jasmine trachelospermum jasminoides at Costco. Want to use them in Salt Lake City, UT, brutal winters, on a fence in a retail center parking lot surrounded by trees. Will the leaves stay intact and keep a color through the winter? (thanks)

ANSWER:

Sigh. This is the sort of question we get ever so often when we wonder "Why didn't they ask this question before they bought/planted/lost the plant in question?" And the other question we'd like to ask is how the big box, non-nursery stores that sell plants, probably grown in California, that are hardy in USDA Hardiness Zones 8a (ave. min. temp. 10- 15 deg. F) to 11 (above 40 deg. F), can sell those in places that are Zone 4b (-25 to -20 deg F.) to 5b (-20 to -15 deg F.)? Salt Lake City, in north central Utah, is Zone 4b, surrounded by Zone 5a. In answer to your question, not only will the leaves not stay intact and keep color through the winter, but the plants will probably be dead by the first of November.

Just for your general information, here is a Floridata website about Trachelospermum jasminoides, Star Jasmine or Confederate Jasmine.

We're sorry you spent the money, but at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center we are committed to promoting the use of plants native to the area in which they are grown, and always native to North America. In the first place, if a plant is native to your area, you don't have to worry about hardiness zones. Beyond that, natives are good for the environment because they consume less water, fertilizer and maintenance.

As a consolation prize, we'd like to offer you some plants native to (and hardy in) Utah. The herbs (herbaceous plants) will not keep color through the winter; in fact, they will probably die to the ground, but will come up in the Spring. Three of the shrubs are evergreen, one deciduous. If you are interested in native plants for your location, go to our Suppliers section, type in your city and state in the Enter Search Location box, and you will get a list of native plant nurseries, seed companies and landscape professionals in your general area.

HERBS

Arnica cordifolia (heartleaf arnica)

Heuchera parvifolia (littleleaf alumroot)

Heuchera rubescens (pink alumroot)

Mirabilis multiflora (Colorado four o'clock)

SHRUBS

Arctostaphylos uva-ursi (kinnikinnick) - evergreen

Ceanothus velutinus (snowbrush ceanothus) - evergreen

Lonicera involucrata (twinberry honeysuckle) - deciduous

Mahonia repens (creeping barberry) - evergreen


Arnica cordifolia

Heuchera parvifolia

Heuchera rubescens

Mirabilis multiflora

Arctostaphylos uva-ursi

Ceanothus velutinus

Lonicera involucrata

Mahonia repens

 

 

 

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