Rent Shop Volunteer Join

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

Please forgive us, but Mr. Smarty Plants has been overwhelmed by a flood of mail and must take a break for awhile to catch up. We hope to be accepting new questions again soon. Thank you!

Need help with plant identification, visit the plant identification page.

 
rate this answer
1 rating

Sunday - May 04, 2008

From: Silver Spring, MD
Region: Mid-Atlantic
Topic: Water Gardens, Herbs/Forbs
Title: The origin of Juncus effusus var. Big Twister
Answered by: Nan Hampton and Joe Marcus

QUESTION:

Juncus effusus, var. 'Big Twister' We're trying to figure out the nativity of this thing, and whether it is safe to plant in our very wet rain garden. Thank you for any assistance...

ANSWER:

Juncus effusus var. 'Big Twister' is really a cultivar of the North American native, Juncus effusus (common rush) and should be written as Juncus effusus 'Big Twister' without the "var.", the abbreviation for the more formal botanical variety. Apparently, the species occasionally produces spiral-stemmed individuals. Those have been propagated and are being sold in nurseries. You will also find them sometimes listed as Juncus effusus forma spiralis (or Juncus effusus f. spiralis or Juncus effusus 'Spiralis'). It’s usually referred to as corkscrew rush or, sometimes, spiral rush. As for it being "safe", it is a native so in that sense is certainly safe, but it will spread through its roots or stolons. If you don't want it taking over your wet area, you should plant it in submerged pots.

 

More Herbs/Forbs Questions

Growing conditions for Giant Coneflower from San Antonio
August 09, 2013 - Rudbeckia maxima is considered to be a perennial plant for the sun but I have had a difficult time maintaining it in a pot in full sun before attempting to plant. Do you feel that it will survive and...
view the full question and answer

Making a pollinator garden
August 11, 2014 - Hello, I have a ditch right by my house and I want to turn it into a pollinator garden using native plants. My problem is, right now it's so full of weeds that we have to mow those down so soon. For ...
view the full question and answer

Fungal root rot in non-native Shasta daisies in Channahon IL
July 21, 2009 - HELP! My Shasta daisies have fungal root rot. Is there any way to save them? I've been removing the browned stems. I'm so sad.
view the full question and answer

Source for Texas Star hibiscus from Grand Prairie TX
June 24, 2012 - I am having a lot of difficulty in trying to find and purchase a Texas Hibiscus. Any clues?
view the full question and answer

Project on natives in Connecticut from Chino CA
April 13, 2010 - Hi Mr. Smarty Plants, My 10 yr. old daughter is doing a project on Ct., and would like to know what the most common plants, trees and flowers are found in this state. A few of each would be a great ...
view the full question and answer

Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.