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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.

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Ask Mr. Smarty Plants is a free service provided by the staff and volunteers at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center.

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Wednesday - August 15, 2007

From: Austin, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Non-Natives
Title: Disposal of non-native invasive clerodendron
Answered by: Nan Hampton

QUESTION:

What do you do about clerodendron that is spreading like wildfire. A friend gave me one plant before I was acquainted with invasives!!

ANSWER:

There are several species of clerodendron or glorybower, Clerodendrum sp., and I'm not sure which one you have. None of them is native to the continental United States (there is one, Clerodendrum aculeatum, native to Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands). C. bungei (rose gloryblower) appeared on the Florida Exotic Pest Plant Council's 1999 List of Florida's Most Invasive Species as a Category II species ("Species that have shown a potential to disrupt native plant communities"). It has not appeared on subsequent Florida lists, however. C. chinense, (stickbush), C. japonicum (sweet Japanese glorybower), C. macrostegium (velvetleaf glorybower) and several other Clerodendrum species appear on the Hawaiian Ecosystems at Risk (HEAR) Project's "Alien species in Hawaii" list. No species of Clerodendrum appear in the TEXASINVASIVES.org database, but since it is aggressive it sounds like something you need and want to control. Even though Mr. SP doesn't know exactly which species you have, the advice is going to be the same. You need to cut down/dig up the plants and dispose of them safely. Then, you will need to be vigilant to remove new plants that appear.
 

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