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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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Thursday - January 20, 2005

From: Cambridge, MA
Region: Northeast
Topic: Seed and Plant Sources
Title: Source for native Orobanche plant seeds for research
Answered by: Nan Hampton

QUESTION:

I'm looking for native Orobanche plant seeds for a research project, but have had no luck so far. We've been able to locate lots of sources for the noxious weed Orobanche (from Europe), but none for US natives. Can you help?

ANSWER:

You don't say which broomrape (Orobanche sp.) you are looking for; but since the USDA Plants Database shows 10 different species that occur in California, I think seed companies there would be a good place to look. You can find a list of California native seed companies by choosing "Explore Plants" from the sidebar on the Wildflower Center web page. Under "Explore Plants" choose "Suppliers Directory". You can then choose "Seed Companies" and search by state or region. When I searched the Seed Companies in California, I didn't find any that listed Orobanche species, but I did find several that indicated that they were responsive to requests for species not on their lists. These were: Central Coast Wilds in Santa Cruz; Clyde Robin Seed Company in Castro Valley; El Nativo Growers in Azusa; and Freshwater Farms, Inc. in Eureka. You might also try searching the Northwest region for native seed companies since the USDA Plants Database lists 6 species of Orobanche that occur there.
 

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