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
1 rating

Tuesday - February 05, 2008

From: Cedar Park, TX
Region: Midwest
Topic: Non-Natives
Title: Seeds for invasive, non-native Erodium cicutarium
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

I rec'd the following e-mail from a friend in he Chicago area. I looked for about an hour and couldn't find a place to get weed seeds. She thinks we are in the desert here and apparently are so rural we just walk outside and pick what we want. Any clues as to where to get these seeds? any supplier of weed seeds around? Thanks. Hi, Deanna! Someone just asked us where she could get some filaree seeds. This web site (http://www.desertusa.com/may96/du_fila.html) gives good photos and info -- do you have any of that stuff around your area? Could you maybe collect some seeds for us? Thanks!

ANSWER:

We did indeed go to the website DESERTUSA recommended by your friend and, frankly, we don't know where to start. We searched on the web by the Latin name, Erodium cicutarium, and found a number of webpages, most of which were under the title of things like "weeds", "noxious weeds", "invasive plants" or "Integrated Pest Management." Then, we discovered that, while there are native Erodiums, members of the Geranium family, this is a non-native, native to Eurasia, and imported to the New World by early Spanish settlers. The focus of the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center is the care and propagation of plants native to North America, but a very large part of our work also has to do with the control or elimination of invasive plants, whether native or non-native. In point of fact, we don't want to do anything to encourage the propagation of this plant anywhere in the United States.

Filaree is an attractive plant, with its little five-petalled flowers. Perhaps we could suggest some other member of the Geraniaceae Family that are native to North America, not considered invasive and could grow in a garden in Illinois. The first, Erodium texanum (Texas stork's bill), has information on our webpage saying it is only native to parts of the Southwest. However, the USDA Plant Profiles Map shows it distributed as close to Illinois as Missouri, so it's a possibility. Geranium maculatum (spotted geranium) and Geranium carolinianum (Carolina geranium) are both indicated as distributed in Illinois. Now, whether you could get seeds of any of these plants, especially as they are considered weeds, is another question. The Illinois Native Plant Society, on their website, has a link to "Seeds and Nurseries." They also have a lot of material on invasive plants, so you might not have much luck there, either.

Conclusion: We'd really rather you didn't gather any seeds of the Erodium cicutarium, even if you find them.


Erodium texanum

Geranium maculatum

Geranium carolinianum

 

 

 

More Non-Natives Questions

Identification of non-native Grape Hyacinth
April 13, 2013 - Mr Smarty Plants, can you tell me please, what is the name of the flower in the attached link? I see numerous references to it as blue bells or bluebells, but when I check the USDA Plants database, no...
view the full question and answer

Care for non-native cat palm
November 18, 2010 - Purchased 3 new cataractarum palms-3ft. high for indoors--how can I know when to water or how often?? I am from Canada & in Naples Florida for 6 months--I am a novice to these plants
view the full question and answer

Hardiness of Euphorbia milii from Marble Falls, TX
December 02, 2009 - What is the hardiness of euphorbia mili, crown-of-thorns?
view the full question and answer

Invasive nature of non-native Zoysia japonica grass
April 22, 2007 - I have been reading up on Zoysia grass and I am curious about its invasive nature. Is there a good way to keep it from going into my neighbors' yards? I was thinking about using some edging material...
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

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