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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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Wednesday - May 03, 2006

From: Cleveland, OH
Region: Mid-Atlantic
Topic: Edible Plants, Medicinal Plants
Title: Information on herbs for Northeast Ohio
Answered by: Nan Hampton

QUESTION:

Hello there, I am writing you seeking some information on Northeast Ohio's native plants. This has been rather difficult to find—specific native plants that can be used as herbs. If you could help me in any way I would be ever so grateful. Thank you in advance.

ANSWER:

We don't have any lists of specific native plants that can be used as herbs--culinary, medicinal, or otherwise--but I can suggest several approaches to finding out which plants native to Ohio might fit that description. First of all, the Herb Society of America is located in Ohio near Cleveland. They certainly would be a good source for information about herbs and, perhaps, they have information about which of the herbs have a native counterpart in Ohio and what their uses are. There is an excellent database, Native American Ethnobotany, from the University of Michigan that has information about uses of native plants by Native Americans. You can search the database by plant name (common or scientific) or by use of the plant (culinary, medicinal, ailment treated, etc.). Once you find the particular herb or herbal use you are looking for, you can then determine if it is native to Ohio by searching in our Native Plants Database and/or in the USDA Plants Database. You might also like to visit the web page of the National Herb Garden, a part of the United States National Arboretum in Washington, DC. Our Native Plant Bibliography can provide you with a list of books relating to medicinal and herbal plants.

 

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