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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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Sunday - April 24, 2011

From: Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Region: Other
Topic: Shrubs
Title: Identification of shrub from Kuala Lumpur
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

I am seeing too much of shrubs used for landscaping that looks like dill, its stems are pretty woody and its leaves looks and smells like dill, are they the same? Can I consume this shrub that looks like dill? Please help me to understand.

ANSWER:

We are sorry, but the expertise of the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center (and Mr. Smarty Plants) is limited to the growth, propagation and protection of plants native not only to North America but to the areas in which those plants grow natively. Anethum graveolens, dill, while it has been introduced in areas around the world, is native to Southeastern Asia. As for the identity of a dill-like shrub in Malaysia, that is WAY out of our field. We will say, however, that we would personally eat nothing about which we knew nothing, whatever it looks and smells like. Here are pictures of dill from Google; perhaps you can compare them to the shrubs you see; we would still ask someone, perhaps from a university or in a public garden, what that shrub is and then investigate it for edibility and possible poisonous parts.

 

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