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
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 Groundcovers Questions

Source for silver ponyfoot from Temple TX
March 19, 2013 - Where can I purchase dichondra argentea -- I live in Bell Co. but am willing to come to Austin if need be. Thank you.
view the full question and answer

Parthenocissus quinquefolia as replacement for Asiatic jasmine
June 14, 2007 - The deer have stripped the Asiatic jasmine groundcover under my clusters of live oak trees in Southwest Austin. This year the bare areas of ground are covered in Virginia creeper seedlings. I have b...
view the full question and answer

Native Plants for Shaded North Slope in Ohio
January 03, 2013 - I have a shaded north hillside which needs erosion control plants. Mostly moss and very thin grass grows there now. Please help!
view the full question and answer

Benefits of Habiturf from Austin
August 19, 2013 - I have been reading about Habiturf and my question should be easy to answer. Is this is a grass you would recommend for kid play? Sitting on the lawn, kicking a soccer ball, etc. Any information a...
view the full question and answer

Evergreen groundcover or ornamental grass to plant under tree
November 09, 2007 - What can I plant under my tree as a groundcover? I would like an evergreen groundcover, how about ornamental grasses?
view the full question and answer

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