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

Question about booklet, Native and Adapted Landscape Plants
June 24, 2009 - In the booklet"Native and Adapted Landscape Plants for Central Texas", the light requirements for some plants are written in a way that I do not understand. Is Sun/Part Shade different from Part Sha...
view the full question and answer

Differences in prostrate Mimosa species
May 27, 2013 - There are apparently a lot of little pink puffy-flowered prostrate plants with thorny stems and sensitive leaves: Mimosa microphylla, Mimosa roemeriana, Mimosa strigillosa. How does one tell them apar...
view the full question and answer

Comments on white-flowered Mountain Laurel from Austin
December 23, 2012 - Following up on the August 23, 2012, question from Driftwood about the white-flowering mountain laurel, I have found a few more leads to explore. First, there are four more images of white-flowering m...
view the full question and answer

Plants adding calcium to soil
June 08, 2006 - Hi, I am looking for a resource to help determine the functions of native plants. For instance, nitrogen fixing can be found in Indigo, Lead plant, lupines. Are there other plants that add back cal...
view the full question and answer

Changing the pH of the soil
January 16, 2012 - Hi, We have a job that has mostly Texas native plants on it. The architect is wanting to drop the pH levels of the soils to acidic levels that we don't feel is good for the plants and the area. ...
view the full question and answer

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