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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 - March 22, 2005

From: Lawrence, KS
Region: Midwest
Topic: Wildflowers
Title: Smarty Plants on Helianthus annuus
Answered by: Nan Hampton

QUESTION:

I am doing an Earth Fair project on the Helianthus annuus. I would like to know if you possibly had any information on this subject. Some of the things I would like to know are: How big does it get? How long does it live? What eats it? Where does it live (habitat and climate requirements)? What laws protect it? Does it have economic value? How does it protect itself? Is it poisonous to humans? other animals? How does it reproduce? What species of plants and animals would you expect to find in the same area as where it lives? why? Is it common in Kansas? What parts is it most common to? What time of year are you most likely to see them? Where other than Kansas can they be found? Is it maintaining a stable population in Kansas? Other places in it's range?

ANSWER:

You can find the answer to most of your questions by reading the entry in the Native Plants Database on the Wildflower Center web page about Helianthus annuus, common sunflower. Be sure to check the information under the Menu categories (Benefits, Bloom, Characters, etc.) at the top of the page. Another source to check is the Kansas State University web page of Kansas Wildflowers and Grasses.

For questions concerning the populations of common sunflowers in Kansas, you might contact the:

Kansas Wilflower Society
R. L. McGregor Herbarium
University of Kansas
2045 Constant Avenue
Lawrence, KS 66047-3729

 

From the Image Gallery


Common sunflower
Helianthus annuus

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