Host an Event Volunteer Join Tickets

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

Monday - March 28, 2011

From: Bowling Green, KY
Region: Mid-Atlantic
Topic: General Botany
Title: How is native range changed in the scientific record?
Answered by: Joe Marcus

QUESTION:

I am accessioning Pachysandra procumbens for the Baker Arboretum. These plants were made from cuttings of a native stand here in Warren County (Western KY). How does the record get amended to reflect a greater native distribution?

ANSWER:

Scientific data, such as botanical names, physical characteristics and species range, are all entered into the literature through valid publication.  This usually means that an article is published in a scientific (peer reviewed) journal or other publication, though valid publication can sometimes be accomplished in other ways such as publication of scholarly books or presentation of papers at scientific conferences.

Native range information can also be increased by collection, cataloging and preservation of herbarium specimens.  Databased herbarium specimens are the basis for most scientifically valid range maps.  For example, the range map for Pachysandra procumbens (Allegheny spurge) on the USDA Plants web page for Kentucky shows the species as occuring in Warren County as well as a number of other counties.  As herbaria add wild-growing specimens collected from other counties and states, the information about those new data eventually make their way into the scientific literature and onto online range maps.

 

More General Botany Questions

Are leaf margins of Chilopsis linearis toothed from Austin
December 22, 2013 - Are the leaf margins of Chilopsis linearis, Desert Willow, smooth or toothed? The NPIN descrip says willow-like. Most willows have toothed leaf margins. Thank you.
view the full question and answer

Drawings of Illinois native wildflowers
July 15, 2006 - I am looking for line drawings of Illinois Native Wildflowers to use for educational material for visitors to our new City Park. We plan to have signs throughout the park describing how Native Americ...
view the full question and answer

Environmental factors that affect lifecycle stages of maidenhair fern.
November 07, 2014 - What are the environmental factors that can affect the lifecycle stages of a maidenhair fern, particularly A. trichorleopis? Thank you
view the full question and answer

Student research on fire-resistance plant labels from Garden Ridge TX
November 13, 2013 - Dear Mr. Smarty Pants, I'm a 4th grader at Garden Ridge Elementary in Comal County. I am researching fire resistant plants. Can you please tell me if most plants' tags say whether they are fire r...
view the full question and answer

Identification of strange tiny creature in plant water
January 14, 2010 - I have a house plant rooted in water. I has been for over a year and the plant seems healthy, I change the water often and keep it clean. I now have noticed that something is growing it. A fish type o...
view the full question and answer

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