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?


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
1 rating

Tuesday - October 09, 2007

From: Swanzey, NH
Region: Northeast
Topic: Invasive Plants
Title: Controlling invasives and using natives in New Hampshire
Answered by: Nan Hampton


What ideas would you have for marrying the subjects of native plants and invasives? This summer I volunteered to work with our town planner and recycling director on a new initiative called SNIP-IT!: Swanzey Nips Invasive Plants in Town! We were going to use the Recycling Center for a demonstration site because the free compost and woodchips piles have Japanese knotweed beside them. However, after a tour of the recycling center, I found 12 different areas of knotweed. We want to be successful removing invasives, and the only practical approach for these huge infestations is herbicide. The second issue is our town has had much development the past 15 years, and new homeowners landscaped with invasives like burning bush and Japanese barberry (NH now has a law against these plants). I've also seen colt's foot and Bouncing Bet making inroads. Help!


The State of New Hampshire is very active in its campaign against invasive plant species through its Department of Agriculture Invasive Species Program and cooperatively with the US Department of Agriculture's National Invasive Species Center. There is a wealth of information on the webpages of these organizations about laws and regulations regarding invasive species, lists of invasive species, programs dealing with invasive species and government officials involved.

One possibility for combining programs on native plants and invasives is to launch an educational campaign targeted at developers, landscape professionals and the general public urging the use of native alternatives to invasive landscape plants. There are several publications available that address this issue:

1. "Kick the Invasive Exotic Gardening Habit with Great Native Plant Alternatives" from the US Arboretum

2. "Invasive Plant Species Are Among the Greatest Threats to the Integrity of Natural Areas" from the New England Wild Flower Society (NEWFS)

3. "Alternatives to Invasive Landscape Plants" from the University of New Hampshire Cooperative Extension Service

4. "Alternatives to Invasive Ornamental Plant Species" from the Connecticut Agricultural Experiment Station

5. "Invasive Plant Information for Vermont: Alternatives to Upland Quarantined Invasive Species" from the University of Vermont Extension Service/Vermont Master Gardeners

6. "Earthworks Alternative Plant List for Exotic Invasive Plants of Eastern Massachusetts" from the Earthworks Project—Boston

7. "Invasive Plant Information for Gardeners" from the National Biological Information Infrastructure

8. "Control of Invasive Non-Native Plants" from the Maryland Native Plant Society

9. Burrell, C. Colston. 2006. "Native Alternatives to Invasive Plants." published by the Brooklyn Botanic Garden



More Invasive Plants Questions

Name of the rough-barked mimosa (Albizia kalkora)
February 12, 2008 - I read two years ago that there was two different mimosa trees one that is common and has the smooth bark and the other one had a rough bark. I am Interested in the one who has the rough bark and the ...
view the full question and answer

Eliminating black locust volunteers in Rockville MD
September 27, 2011 - I am a landscape designer whose client has a very large, mature black locust in her front yard. Not surprisingly, she also has multitudes of black locust volunteers popping up all over her yard. The...
view the full question and answer

Invasiveness of wild petunia in Austin
June 15, 2008 - Is the wild petunia in the data base as invasive/aggressive as the more common ruellia? In other words, will it pop up everywhere? Ruellia nudiflora (Engelm. & Gray) Urban Common wild petunia, Vi...
view the full question and answer

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

Invasive thistles in wildflower field from Dripping Springs TX
February 17, 2014 - How to get rid of "native" thistles.. I have a large natural field that used to grow a variety of wildflowers, but in 2011 and 2012 it was taken over by thistles. I'm sure they are "native" Texas...
view the full question and answer

Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.
© 2015 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center