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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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Tuesday - July 09, 2013

From: San Antonio, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Invasive Plants, Non-Natives, User Comments, Shrubs
Title: Support for non-native, invasive Nandina Domestica from San Antonio, TX
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

I consider nandina domestica to be a perfect plant for San Antonio, but see that it is on the list of invasive plants for surrounding eco-areas. How should I respond regarding one of my favorite landscape plants?

ANSWER:

You don't need to respond to us. We agree that nandina is invasive and non-native, BUT we also know it attracts birds who, in turn, spread it farther still. It is evergreen and certainly seems to stand its ground in the face of heat and drought. Everyone has choices to make. We choose to encourage plants native to an area because that conserves resources, requiring less fertilizer (chemicals), water and, if the next door neighbor doesn't want it in their yard, possibly neighborhood relationships. If it is your choice to support this plant, you may certainly do so, but not on a website that supports natives.

 

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