Host an Event Volunteer Join Tickets

Support the plant database you love!

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.

Help us grow by giving to the Plant Database Fund or by becoming a member

Did you know you can access the Native Plant Information Network with your web-enabled smartphone?

Share

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.

Search Smarty Plants
See a list of all Smarty Plants questions

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!

Need help with plant identification, visit the plant identification page.

 
rate this answer
Not Yet Rated

Tuesday - July 23, 2013

From: Iowa City, IA
Region: Midwest
Topic: Grasses or Grass-like
Title: Is Milium effusum 'aureum' native to North America from Iowa City, IA
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

I have seen the cultivar grass milium effusm aureum described as a native of both Europe and the N. America. Both continents HAVE a subspecies of m. effusum. Which is more accurate; is MEA a cultivar of an American or a Euro plant--or both?

ANSWER:

There is a plant, Milium effusum (American milletgrass), in our Native Plant Database which would, by definition, contain no cultivars nor hybrids and certainly no non-natives to North America, so we cannot give you much more definitive information.

Going to the Internet, we found this article on Milium effusum 'Aureum' from the Royal Horticultural Society which is, of course, in Great Britain. From Plants for the Future we found this article on Millium effusum, referred to as "wood millet," which included this statement on its range:

"Europe, excluding the Meditteranean, east to Siberia and the Himalayas." There don't seem to be any laws saying that botanists have to name the same plant a different name in every country. Botanists have meetings to decide things like that; we don't suppose they got around to this one, yet.

According to our database, this plant does grow natively in Iowa, but we can't get the USDA Plant Profile site to respond, giving us the counties in Iowa where it grows, perhaps they went home early today. Since we have no pictures of it in our Image Gallery, here are some from Google.

 

 

 

 

 

More Grasses or Grass-like Questions

Rejuvenating old Lindheimer muhly clumps
October 02, 2015 - I've got two clumps of Lindheimer's muhly in full sun in the western (limestone) part of Austin. I'm thinking they've been there for the past 8 or so years. In the past two or three years, the g...
view the full question and answer

Setaria scheelei grass for San Antonio
March 21, 2011 - It seems that ornamental grasses for dry shady places are few and far between. Southwestern Bristlegrass (Setaria scheelei) is exactly what I'm looking for and would solve all my problems! Only I c...
view the full question and answer

Native flower bed with part sun
December 05, 2008 - I have recently put in three small flower beds and replaced the hard clay with decent dirt. The site is shaded in the AM but mostly sun in the PM. I would like to plant natives - what can you recommen...
view the full question and answer

Keeping non-native invasive bermudagrass out of yard in Austin
May 30, 2012 - My neighbor just sodded a huge lawn with Bermuda Celebration. I don't want it coming into my St. Augustine. From what I've read on your site and others, I need a deep barrier. Has anyone tried pu...
view the full question and answer

Controlling non-native Pennisetum frutescens (Naked fountain grass)
December 07, 2014 - Three years ago I bought a pennisetum frutescans grass from a reputable online nursery. It gets no supplemental water, but it is taking over my yard. It is almost 7 feet wide now. Can you tell me how ...
view the full question and answer

Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.