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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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Friday - July 04, 2008

From: Grand Prairie, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Invasive Plants
Title: Controlling Phragmites australis, common reed
Answered by: Nan Hampton


Dear Mr. Smarty Plants, I volunteer at Cedar Ridge Preserve in Dallas. We are currently chopping down an invasive called Phragmites australis around the pond. The belief is that by continuously chopping down the plant will stress it and kill it. Do you know of a better way? Thank you.


The Nature Conservancy reports the successful control of Phragmites australis (common reed) in Kampoosa Bog, Massachusetts by cutting the reeds and then judiciously applying herbicide down the cut stumps of the reed with squirt bottles. This contained the herbicide within the target plant so that it didn't affect other plants nearby. You can read more descriptions of control methods used by the Nature Conservancy in "Control Comments from Stewards" and in "Element Stewardship Abstract for Phragmites australis".



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