En EspaŅol

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
Can't find the answer in our existing FAQs, submit a question to Mr. Smarty Plants.
Need help with plant identification, visit the plant identification page.
 
rate this answer
Not Yet Rated

Friday - July 04, 2014

From: Houston, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Invasive Plants, Non-Natives, Groundcovers, Shade Tolerant, Herbs/Forbs
Title: Competition between Horseherb and Chickweed
Answered by: Guy Thompson

QUESTION:

Ok, sorry I did it wrong the 1st time!? I live in Houston, and I have chickens! I also have mass amounts of Horseherb, and I want to buy some chickweed seeds and plant it for my chickens! My question is, which weed will win? The Horseherb looks very similar to Chickweed! Except the Horseherb has yellow flowers, an no hairy trails? So if I plant the chickweed, will it smother out the Horseherb? Thank you very much for your expertise! ;-)

ANSWER:

I assume that you are referring to Common chickweed (Stellaria media), a non-native introduced from Europe and now widespread throughout the U.S. (There are other less common native plants called chickweed.)  From what I can find out, I believe that Common chickweed will outgrow Calyptocarpus vialis (Straggler daisy), also called Horseherb, in early Spring, because Chickweed is a cool season plant.  However, when temperatures rise into the 90's Horseherb will begin rapid growth and out-compete Chickweed. Horseherb is also more drought resistant than Chickweed. Horseherb definitely prevails in Central Texas, where I live, and I expect it will also be true in the Houston area, although you should seldom suffer from drought.

 

More Non-Natives Questions

Verbena bonariensis won't bloom in Galveston, TX.
July 03, 2014 - My Verbena bonariensis is thriving, but never blooms. The plants look healthy, are about 6 feet tall and in full sun. The buds turn light purple but never open to flower. My neighbor's vb are ...
view the full question and answer

Pruning non-native peach in Austin, TX.
June 18, 2015 - I planted two five gallon Texas Star peach trees last February but didn't have the nerve to prune them back to knee height. After having been convinced that this is a good thing to do, I'd like to k...
view the full question and answer

Why aren't the Caesalpinia species in the Native Plant Database
June 07, 2013 - Why doesn't the Wildflower Center list Caesalpinia in its plant database? I grow 3 species in my garden with no coddling: C. mexicana, C. gilliesii, and C. pulcherrima. I underst...
view the full question and answer

Pruning and deadheading rosa rugosa while blooming
August 01, 2008 - Can you prune the dead flowers and branches of rosa rogosa while it is still blooming?
view the full question and answer

Citrus trees for Austin
May 21, 2008 - I am looking for citrus that grows in the Austin,Tx area. Could you offer any suggestions please?
view the full question and answer

Smarty Plants's Facebook profile Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.

Mr. Smarty Plants wants you to be his Facebook friend. Click the Facebook icon to add yourself to Mr. Smarty Plants list of friends.
E-NEWSLETTER | BECOME A MEMBER | DONATE NOW | MEDIA | SITEMAP | STAFF
© 2015 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center