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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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Tuesday - March 29, 2011

From: Somerset, MA
Region: Northeast
Topic: Plant Identification
Title: Identity of recently purchased plant from Somerset MA
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

I just bought a plant at Home Depot but it came with no tag. It has fairly large greyish green paddle shaped leaves, the leave stalks are pretty thick. Can you tell me what kind of plant do I have? I think it a Bird of paradise but not sure. if you can help it would be great! Thanks

ANSWER:

We are sorry, but there is little chance we can identify your plant. Home Depot sells mostly non-native plants, and tropicals are particularly showy. However, 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 area in which those plants are being grown. We would strongly recommend that you refuse to buy a plant that is not labelled with its identity. A common name is okay, because you can usually find that on the Internet, but a scientific name is much better, as there will be no confusion on which plant that is, while there are many different common names for the same plant.

 

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