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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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Saturday - June 20, 2009

From: Colerain, NC
Region: Southeast
Topic: Non-Natives, Deer Resistant
Title: Non-native mimosa as deer food in Colerain, NC
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

I was wondering if deer eat any part of the mimosa tree? I have three good sized trees in my yard with seedlings popping up everywhere. Would it be profitable to transplant for deer habitat?

ANSWER:

Most of the people we hear from are looking for things deer won't eat-they are not so much interested in deer habitat as in deer going away. This Plant Conservation Alliance Least Wanted List tells you that because the mimosa tree can grow in a variety of soils, produce large seed crops, and resprout when damaged, it is a strong competitor to native trees and shrubs in open areas or forest edges. At the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center, we are dedicated to the use, care and propagation of plants native not only to North America but to the area in which the plant is being grown.  The mimosa is native to temperate and tropical Asia. Very often, animals will not even eat plants that are not native to their area, and as a non-native plant takes over a habitat, the wildlife that was living in that habitat with the native plants begins to suffer. We would be very happy if you would at least cease to propagate this plant, and at best, cut it down.

 

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