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?

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
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

Saturday - January 05, 2008

From: Austin, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Non-Natives
Title: Non-native purple lantana
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

I have found some purple trailing lantana on our land. (This land has never been inhabited, as far as I know of.) This is not one of the yellow/pink or yellow/red native varieties. Is this indeed a type of native or possibly one of the currently popular hybrids that has been bird planted?

ANSWER:

On the Texas Invasives website, we found this page on Lantana montividensis which may prove to be the one you are finding on your land. It is a native of tropical South America and is widely used as a ground cover. The very fact that it is on the Texas Invasives list is an indication it's probably not the most desirable plant.

However, there is Glandularia bipinnatifida (Dakota mock vervain) which also has clusters of lantana-like purple flowers. This is a native of Texas, can spread to cover acres with its trailing branches and flowers, and is deer-resistant. Because your land is previously uninhabited, it is more likely that the plant in question is this one. Whether you try to keep it or remove it depends on the uses you wish to make of the land. It attracts butterflies, and blooms a good part of the year, has no poisonous parts and is adapted to the area, so it would make a very attractive addition. If you're planning a more formal garden for the property, the Dakota mock vervain could itself become invasive. Even a native can be invasive. 

If neither of these appear to be the plant in question, you might try sending us a picture, using the instructions on the  "Ask Mr. Smarty Plants" page in the lower right hand corner, and we'll see if we can get a better identification.

 


Glandularia bipinnatifida

 

 

 

More Non-Natives Questions

Viability of non-native Royal Poinciana in Austin
August 20, 2008 - My question is about the tree called Royal Poinciana that grows so well in the Rio Grande Valley. I realise it isn't a native but hope you have an opinion about its chances of survival in Austin. ...
view the full question and answer

Damage to non-native Japanese maple
March 10, 2009 - I have a medium sized branch of a dwarf outdoor Japanese maple partially (about 70%) broken off. How can I fix it? What chemical/plant hormone/material can I use to initiate regrowth of the broken par...
view the full question and answer

Why is non-native peach tree not going dormant in Owensville IN
December 19, 2011 - I have a peach tree I grew from a peach pit. It is about 2 years old. I planted the tree in my yard this summer. It is now about 3' tall. My problem is it is not going dormant. We have had several fr...
view the full question and answer

Controlling pumpkin vine in British Columbia
July 15, 2008 - I have never grown pumpkins before but decided to try one plant this year. It seems to be taking over my small garden space. Can I prune it back? I only want one or two pumpkins for my grandchildre...
view the full question and answer

Invasive non-native mulberry and groundcover in Jacksonville FL
October 02, 2011 - Northeast Florida (Jacksonville) inland. My mulberry tree provides dense shade in the summer and filtered light the other seasons, leaving sand in its growing area. What fast growing ground cover woul...
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 | STAFF
© 2015 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center