Contact Us Host an Event Volunteer Join

Support the plant database you love!

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

Friday - November 25, 2005

From: Alpena, MI
Region: Midwest
Topic: Shrubs
Title: Inadvisability of introducing American Beautyberry to Michigan
Answered by: Nan Hampton and Joe Marcus

QUESTION:

I recently brought back to Michigan from Florida 2 young beauty berry plants. I currently have them in a pot inside my home. They are growing quite well, and show a hearty appearance. What are the chances that I can get them to grow outside next spring/summer? I really want to have this plant a part of my landscaping. It is so beautiful, and would be so easy to grow. I live in Alpena, Michigan. I appreciate your help in this.

ANSWER:

It is very unlikely that the American beautyberry (Callicarpa americana) would survive the Michigan winters since its natural range is the southeastern United States. You can see the distribution map and read about some of the plant's characteristics and growth requirements in the USDA Plants Database. The USDA Hardiness Zone designation for this plant is Zones 6-10. The American beautyberry is a beautiful plant and it is certainly understandable that you would want to grow it in Michigan. However, even if it would survive in Michigan, we would not recommend that you introduce a plant that is not native to the region. Indeed, even if it were native to Michigan we would not recommend that you transplant a Florida plant with its unique genotypic component into the Michigan population.

 

More Shrubs Questions

Combining native shrubs for hedge in Austin
April 15, 2009 - Smarty, Please tell me what the definitions are for all the various water, soil moisture, drainage and light requirements mean. Are the definitions global? I live in Central East Austin and inten...
view the full question and answer

Is Viburnum rufidulum monoecious or dioecious?
July 28, 2014 - Is Viburnum rufidulum monoecious or dioecious? Your database does not address this for most plants.
view the full question and answer

Plants for pool area in Kentucky
June 12, 2010 - We live in central Kentucky and have a backyard pool that desperately needs some landscaping. I would like plants that don't drop a lot of leaves or "trash". I'd like a list of great poolside pl...
view the full question and answer

Dead or Dormant Chile Pequins in Corpus Christi
November 12, 2010 - We have 4 chile pequin and 5 chiltepin plants growing our yard. All were thriving beautifully until we took a 12-day vacation in late July. There was little rain during that time but overall this y...
view the full question and answer

Pruning buttonbush from Pottsville PA
December 10, 2013 - In a formally planted park, a small area has become swampy. I have choosen to plant it with wet tolerant native plants. I would appreciate any suggestions on pruning the buttonbush [Cephalanthus occ...
view the full question and answer

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