Rent Shop 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

Wednesday - June 02, 2010

From: Hinsdale, IL
Region: Midwest
Topic: Best of Smarty, General Botany
Title: Burn the wetlands
Answered by: Damon Waitt

QUESTION:

Can the wetlands of Louisiana that have been soaked in oil be burned? I am a native plant gardener in the midwest. Burning is a natural process in the prairie. Southerners are not used to this and may be ignoring a very simple solution to the wetlands that already have been devastated by oil. We could be looking at have those grasses being rejuvenated within weeks with a good burn.

ANSWER:

That is an interesting proposition. As you are aware fire is an important management tool for restoring prairies but wetlands are a whole other kind of ecosystem. They are difficult to burn (some must be drained first) and once burned it takes them years to rebuild enough vegetation for another burn so the timing has to be just right to get the most oil out of the wetland. So....while it is a viable option it is considered by most to be an option of last resort.

 

More Best of Smarty Questions

Smell barrier around chicken pen in Austin
April 23, 2011 - What are some shade to part-shade loving, aromatic plants (akin to Lavender or Jasmine) that will do well in Central TX? I'm trying to plant things around my chicken pen that'll create a smell barri...
view the full question and answer

History of the Texas Bluebonnet
March 12, 2008 - Hi, I'm working on an article for a newspaper and wondered if you could point me in the right direction to find out the history of the bluebonnet. When did it become the state flower? Is it really ill...
view the full question and answer

Grave plants in Indiana in 1914
July 30, 2010 - I'm doing research on the landscape surrounding an elaborate family cemetery constructed in NW Indiana in 1914. Previous research noted that "grave plants" were planted along the short retaining w...
view the full question and answer

Can tulip tree sap be used to make syrup in Bunker Hill IN?
July 10, 2009 - I was just wondering if tulip tree sap could be used to make syrup. I saw the sticky stuff on the leaves and decided to taste test it and it was very sweet, unfortunately I later found out that I was ...
view the full question and answer

Native plants that will grow under alleopathic black walnut
March 03, 2007 - I have a large, beautiful black walnut tree in my yard and have trouble growing the annuals, begonia, impatients, etc., that I have always grown. They don't do well in the ground and I have resorted...
view the full question and answer

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