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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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Friday - January 08, 2010

From: Salt Lake City, UT
Region: Rocky Mountain
Topic: Non-Natives
Title: Use of non-native jasmine for wedding in Salt Lake City
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

I am getting married mid summer in Salt Lake City. I want to incorporate jasmine plants/flowers into my bouquet, centerpieces, etc. Is that feasible living in Salt Lake City? Would they survive long enough for a one day event if I had them shipped from out of town within the week? If so, how would I go about storing them until the big day? Also, could you be of any help in locating the closest florist who may be able to supply me with the flowers? And lastly, are there any other flowers that are comparable in size, color and fragrance that may be a better choice for use in Salt Lake City???I would really appreciate your help in this matter as I am not having any luck researching my answers. Thank you!

ANSWER:

Although there are some small native wildflowers with the word "jasmine" in one of their common names, we suspect you are interested in Jasminum polyanthum, a "true" jasmine as described in this Floridata article and sometimes referred to as winter jasmine. Or you might be thinking of Tracheospermum jasminoides, from another Floridata site. Some common names of this plant are Confederate jasmine, or star jasmine. Both are natives to China and both are hardy from USDA Plant Hardiness Zones 8 to 11. Salt Lake City is in approximately Zone 5b, so neither plant could be grown there year-round.

That is about as much information as we can give you. The Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center is dedicated to the growth, protection and propagation of plants native not only to North America but to the area in which they are being grown. We are assuming that the main attraction of these flowers for your wedding is their wonderful fragrance. Your best bet is to locate a local florist, and keep calling until you find one who at least has some suggestions. We have no connections with nor information about florists. We deal with the plant itself, usually as a part of landscaping or land restoration. Most flowers from florists are non-natives, so you could find one who could either provide you with jasmine cuttings, or suggest other flowers comparable in size, color and fragrance as you requested.  

 

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