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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 - April 09, 2013

From: Durham, NC
Region: Southeast
Topic: Non-Natives, Propagation, Shrubs
Title: Plants purchased at Duke Gardens From Durham NC
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

I went to the plant sale at a local garden this week and bought some very small plants. I am happy to wait for plants to grow but wondered if I need to do anything special. I live in Durham NC and these plants were purchased from Duke Gardens. I bought a viburnum burkwoodii and an oak leaf hydrangea. Each is less than 5 inches in height. Can you provide any special planting needs and some idea of the growth rate of these plants. Will I have 10" plants at the end of this season?

ANSWER:

Because the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center (home of Mr. Smarty Plants) is committed to the growth, propagation and protection of plants native not only to North America but to the area in which they grow naturally, we must first identify whether or not the plants you have asked about are, indeed, native.

Viburnum x burkwoodii. Although there are a number of members of the genus Viburnum native to North America, this is not one of them. From the Missouri Botanical Garden, here is a discussion of the growing and care of the shrub. Another article from Floridata says "Burkwood's viburnum is the result of a cross between V. carlesii and V. utile, both native to Asia," thus the "x" in the title Viburnum x burkwoodii. One of those two articles should help you with your questions.

Hydrangea quercifolia (Oakleaf hydrangea) is, indeed, native to North Carolina. If you follow the plant link to our webpage on this plant, you will find Propagation Instructions and Growing conditions. Our webpage gives an ultimate mature height of 6 to 12 ft. tall, but we are sorry, we have no idea how tall either plant will be by the end of the year.

Again, from the Missouri Botanical Garden, here is more information on the care and culture of the Oak Leaf Hydrangea. 

 

From the Image Gallery


Oakleaf hydrangea
Hydrangea quercifolia

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