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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 - October 21, 2008

From: Virginia Beach, VA
Region: Mid-Atlantic
Topic: Non-Natives
Title: Non-native arica palm
Answered by:

QUESTION:

I have been watering an arica palm in my house in Va. Beach, VA. The leaves continue to get brown, dry up and die. I'm not sure if it has a disease or something else. Can you help?

ANSWER:

Thank you for your question. While we would like to answer all questions we receive, Mr. Smarty Plants' expertise is limited to plant species native to North America, their habitats and cultivation. Limited resources require us to decline answering questions that delve into other areas. We hope you understand.

However, we were curious about your question (after all, we don't know EVERY native plant in North America), and did a little research. Turns out all we could find were a few photographs of the palm, and advertisements from some nurseries-in Thailand, Dubai and Egypt. This leads us to believe it is VERY non-native, and we never even figured out where it was native to. The pictures we found were of art posters, and not informative, but here is one for you to look at: From Webshots Outdoors, Picture of Arica Palm Frond. You might contact the nursery from which you purchased the plant, and see if they have any suggestions.

 

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