Contact Us Host an Event Volunteer Join

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.

Help us grow by giving to the Plant Database Fund or by becoming a member

Did you know you can access the Native Plant Information Network with your web-enabled smartphone?

Share

Ask Mr. Smarty Plants

Ask Mr. Smarty Plants is a free service provided by the staff and volunteers at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center.

Search Smarty Plants
See a list of all Smarty Plants questions

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!

Need help with plant identification, visit the plant identification page.

 
rate this answer
Not Yet Rated

Sunday - November 29, 2009

From: Delta, PA
Region: Mid-Atlantic
Topic: Rare or Endangered Plants
Title: Is crow's foot endangered from Delta PA
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

I, too, used crows foot in Christmas Wreaths. I have recently heard that is endangered and you could be fined picking it and using it. Wondering if this is a true statement. There is still lots in the woods near where I live in southern Pennsylvania.

ANSWER:

We found the previous answer from Mr. Smarty Plants you were apparently referring to. The two plants in that answer that had the common name of "crow's foot" were Lycopodium digitatum (fan clubmoss) and Sedum ternatum (woodland stonecrop); a sedum. Both of these plants are known to be native to Pennsylvania; however, it is the Fan Clubmoss that looks most likely to be a candidate for a Christmas wreath. From our Native Plant Database page on this plant: "Formerly gathered for Christmas decorations, but deforestation made it too rare to be used."

That tells you that it shouldn't be used, certainly, but it doesn't tell you if you will be fined for using it. We checked the Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources website on Endangered Plants of Pennsylvania but did not find it there. According to this USDA Plant Profile, it does, indeed, appear to grow all over the state.  We tried to find some official source that might be able to tell you more about penalties for gathering this plant; this is usually a ruling for a particular area but we are unaware of an authority in Pennsylvania that could administer such a rule. The responsible thing, in view of the information above, would be to leave it to re-establish itself, but we doubt there are clubmoss police out in the woods ready to put on the handcuffs if you pick some.

From our Native Plant Image Gallery: 


Lycopodium digitatum

 

 

More Rare or Endangered Plants Questions

Storm damage to native sweet bay magnolias in Kentucky
February 04, 2009 - Can you please share information on storm damage to sweet bay magnolias; if the top is broken off can the tree maintain its natural shape or will the sides begin to grow more than the top; i.e., growt...
view the full question and answer

Problems with transplanted Texas Madrones from Junction TX
May 13, 2014 - We planted 3 little Texas madrones last year 9 - 12 inches high. 2 of them seem to have some kind of black blight along the edges of the leaves that I don't think was the result of our late freezes. ...
view the full question and answer

Entities adopting threatened species as symbol
May 13, 2008 - Please could you tell me about any nations, cities, towns or villages which have adopted a threatened species as their flagship or totem, and are attempting to save it? I am drawing up a list of such...
view the full question and answer

Why is endangered Sandplain Gerardia (Agalinis acuta) helpful in the environment
October 31, 2007 - My son is doing a report on endangered plants in Maryland and was assigned the Sandplain Gerardia. On-line we have been able to find much of the information we need for his report. However, there is...
view the full question and answer

Smarty Plants on Herbertia lahue
May 03, 2005 - Herbertia lahue is now blooming in Russ Pitman Park in Bellaire, TX. Below is a story about it. I heard that the plant is a protected species, but I could not find anything to confirm that. Could y...
view the full question and answer

Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.