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 Invasive Plants Questions

Identification of plant with light orange fruit
November 03, 2011 - Trying to identify a small, light orange, oval shaped fruit,light yellow/beige inside, many seeds, vine w/briars, behind an outbuilding in McNeill, MS. tks
view the full question and answer

Reply on Carolina Jasmine from San Antonio
March 06, 2009 - Thank you for your prompt reply to my question from San Antonio about removal of Carolina Jasmine. Just one note. In the "rate this answer" section my cursor dropped. I meant to give you four stars....
view the full question and answer

Advisability of growing Silybum marianum (Milk thistle)
November 26, 2013 - I just received a load of clay-mix-dirt - and after our recent rains noticed the pile sprouting what looks like "Milk Thistle." Lots of them. The leaves are spiny and variegated - quite pretty. ...
view the full question and answer

Violets becoming invasive in Prince Edward Island, Canada
March 18, 2009 - Last Spring I planted several violets and by the end of the Summer they have become an invasion in my garden. I'm afraid that they will get into my lawn and cause a real problem. Any way of getting r...
view the full question and answer

What about Asian Jasmine and scrub oaks?
September 01, 2010 - Dear Mr. Smarty Plants, I have several clusters of native scrub oaks in my yard. I planted Asian jasmine under them many years ago. The trees look fine, but an arborist has told me that the Asian ...
view the full question and answer

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