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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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Friday - June 16, 2006

From: Romulus, MI
Region: Midwest
Topic: Wildflowers
Title: Possibility of Oenothera flava growing in Michigan
Answered by: Dean Garrett

QUESTION:

Oenothera flava (A. Nels) Garrett, is it true that this plant is not in Michigan? Is it rare or something? Because I had a hard time trying to find out what it was.

ANSWER:

According to the USDA Plants Database and the few books I looked at on Michigan plant life, Oenothera flava's known range does not appear to include Michigan. The plant is not listed as endangered, threatened, or extirpated in the Michigan Natural Features Inventory.

There are a number of Oenothera species native to Michigan, many of which have yellow flowers but, to my eye, none appear to have the same leaf shape and arrangement as Oenothera flava.

If you believe you've found this plant growing in Michigan, you might consult your state's native plant society to get some experienced botanists to look at it as well. If your identification is confirmed, you can report your finding to the USDA Plants Database and request that the plant's range be updated.
 

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