En EspaŅol
Share

Ask Mr. Smarty Plants

Mr. Smarty Plants - Definition of a weed

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

Tuesday - April 22, 2003

From: Austin, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: General Botany, Invasive Plants
Title: Definition of a weed
Answered by: Stephen Brueggerhoff

QUESTION:

What is your definition of a weed?

ANSWER:

My definition of a weed encompasses the natural distribution range of a particular plant, as well as growth habit. Generally, a plant is determined "weedy" if it has a habit of creating a monoculture and effectively removing or reducing populations of naturally occurring flora. Weeds can be either native or non-native plants. Native plants are plants that naturally occur in a given location without accidental or intentional introduction by humans. Plants that are native to other places and have been introduced to locations out of their natural range are called exotics. These plants, in turn, are then declared invasive when they exhibit characteristics described above. Additionally, native plants that are introduced/grow out of their naturally distributed range, can become invasive as well.

 

More Invasive Plants Questions

Plant identification of tall stalk with many thorns
April 17, 2009 - Dear Mr. Smarty Pants: After we raked all the leaves, I found three or four plants on my property that are thin tall stalks with many thorns. Leaves are just growing, so I cannot describe them. ...
view the full question and answer

Why is Water Hyacinth an invasive plant and Pickerel Weed isn't in Metarie, LA?
May 28, 2011 - Water Hyacinth. Would you please tell me why the Eichhornia crassipes (non-native) vs. Pickerelweed (native) is invasive vs. non-invasive? What are easy identifiers for these aquatic plants? Th...
view the full question and answer

Getting rid of Japanese bindweed in Massachusetts
February 04, 2009 - How do you get rid of Japanese Bindweed (mile-a-minute)?
view the full question and answer

Replacing non-native invasives with native grasses and wildflowers from Round Rock TX
April 04, 2012 - I have a small piece of property (1.5 AC) East of Austin, Texas that get's overgrown with weedy vegetation (johnson grass, dandelion, and some tall yellow flowering plant that I see all over the medi...
view the full question and answer

Distinguishing wax myrtle from Daphne laureola in Tofino BC
September 02, 2009 - I am wondering how to distinguish California Wax Myrtle from Daphne Laurel, the latter which I would prefer to eradicate from my property. If it is wax myrtle, it gets to live..
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
© 2014 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center