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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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Wednesday - July 15, 2009

From: San Antonio, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Non-Natives
Title: Non-native lavender for Texas in San Antonio
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

I am looking for a lavender (English?) that will tolerate Tx summers, is evergreen, will tolerate some shade. I want to border a sidewalk with it. All help appreciated.

ANSWER:

Lavendula (lavender) is native to the Meditteranean area. At the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center, we are dedicated to the care, protection and propagation of plants native not only to North America but to the area in which the plant is being grown. Since lavender is neither poisonous nor invasive, we won't get the Native Plant Police after you if you plant some, we just don't have information on it in our Native Plant Database.

We found a good website, About.com: Landscaping on Growing Lavender.  We would like to add, from a Texas gardener's experience (and don't call the Native Plant Police on us, either) that the English lavenders, Lavandula angustifolia ('Hidcote' and 'Munstead') tend not to tolerate a Texas summer as well as the French lavenders. From the Desert Tropicals website on Lavandula dentata you will learn that it does very well in sun and without excess water. 

Just don't tell anybody we told you!

 

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