Rent Shop Volunteer Join

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
1 rating

Tuesday - April 29, 2014

From: Mission, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Non-Natives, Butterfly Gardens, Herbs/Forbs
Title: Growth rate of non-native Asclepias curassavica
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

As a volunteer at the National Butterfly center, I wonder how long from starting the seeds until the plant reaches approximately 20 cm tall does it take a tropical milkweed (asclepias curassavica) to grow assuming 60 degree nights or above? Thank you

ANSWER:

There are a couple of things we need to let you know. The first is that this member of the Mr. Smarty Plants Team does not speak metric, and must blushingly concede that she has not the slightest idea how tall is 20 cm?

The second thing is that the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center, home of Mr. Smarty Plants, is dedicated to the growth, propagation and protection of plants native not only to North America but to the area in which they are to be grown; in your case, Hidalgo County, in the very southern tip of Texas. Ascepias curassavica,Tropical Milkweed, is therefore not in our Native Plant Database but is native to South America, and there is some controversy about using it in feeder areas for the Monarch Butterfly, according to this article from the Texas Butterfly Ranch.

 

More Non-Natives Questions

Toxicity of non-native Royal Empress tree
April 23, 2009 - We want to plant some fast-growing trees for shade for my horses. My friend wants to use Royal Empress trees. Can you tell me if these are toxic to horses (and also goats)? I have a lot of clay in t...
view the full question and answer

Non-native gardenia in Cedar Park, TX
October 07, 2009 - My gardenia, which is planted in a large pot, drops the buds before they bloom. What do I need to do. I already fertilize it with gardenia food.
view the full question and answer

Leaves on non-native Rose Cactus
January 30, 2009 - I have a Rose Cactus (Pereskia grandifolia). The leaves have all dropped off. I was wondering if this is normal in the winter. Also, is the pear shaped fruit edible.
view the full question and answer

Problems with non-native weeping willow
April 17, 2009 - The trunk of my Weeping Willow tree has raised donut growths.The left base has decay. There is a large space between the base and the soil (no roots) and the wood is brittle. Large ants with a black ...
view the full question and answer

Yellow leaves on non-native pittisporum in Wharton TX
March 17, 2009 - Green pittisporum that I planted 2 years ago and 1 year ago are getting a lot of yellow leaves. Variegated pittisporum that I planted at the same 2 times are doing fine.
view the full question and answer

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