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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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Thursday - March 10, 2011

From: The Villages , FL
Region: Southeast
Topic: Trees
Title: Desert willow for Florida?
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

I, too, am interested in the desert willow tree. I reside in central Florida, 32162. However, Mountain States Nursery does not ship east of Texas. May I have a listing of other nurseries also. Thanks for your help.

ANSWER:

Well, see, here's the thing. The reason that Chilopsis linearis (Desert willow) has the word "desert" in its name is because that's where it grows. Texas, and south central Texas at that, is about as far east in the United States as the Desert Willow grows natively. Follow the plant link above to see what its distribution and growing conditions are, and we think you will agree that it would be a waste of resources to attempt to grow this tree in Florida. The Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center is dedicated to the growth, propagation and protection of plants native not only to North America but to the areas in which those plants are growing. You can grow lots of things in Florida that would keel over in Texas; to each his own.

 

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