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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

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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Thursday - March 22, 2012

From: San Dimas , CA
Region: California
Topic: Non-Natives, Pollinators, Shrubs
Title: Alternative for Pittosporum limelight
Answered by: Nan Hampton

QUESTION:

Is it ok to plant a Pittosporum limelight by pool? Don't want bees! Needs to be 6 feet. Thanks.

ANSWER:

Pittosporum tenuifolium (limelight) is native to New Zealand.   The focus and expertise of the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center are plants native to North America so we wouldn't recommend planting this shrub.  We can offer some shrubs with similar features that are native alternatives:

Arctostaphylos manzanita (Whiteleaf manzanita) and here are photos and more information

Baccharis pilularis (Coyotebrush) and here are more photos and information

Cercocarpus montanus var. minutiflorus [syn.  Cercocarpus minutiflorus] (Smooth mountain mahogany) and here are photos and more information.

Frangula californica [syn. Rhamnus californica] (California buckthorn or coffeeberry) and here are photos and more information.

Most flowering plants are pollinated by some insect or other—many times it will be bees.  This means that your plant, even Pittosporum limelight, will be visited by insects while in bloom—probably, this will include bees.

 

From the Image Gallery


Coyotebrush
Baccharis pilularis

Alderleaf mountain mahogany
Cercocarpus montanus

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