En Español

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
Not Yet Rated

Saturday - July 12, 2008

From: Austin, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Diseases and Disorders
Title: Corona de Cristo, guest or pest?
Answered by: Damon Waitt

QUESTION:

We have had two recent speakers at the Austin Butterfly Forum with differing views as to whether Passiflora foetida is invasive in Texas. One believes that it's well-behaved and a a great butterfly plant; the other says that it should never be planted because it is highly aggressive. I assume there's some truth in both viewpoints. Can you provide any information about the conditions under which it is invasive?

ANSWER:

According to the USDA Plants Database, Passiflora foetida is both native and introduced to the continental United States. It can be also be found in northern South America and the West Indies and in South East Asian countries like Vietnam and on Hawaii. The Global Invasive Species Database (GISD) lists Passiflora foetida as a perennial herbaceous vine that originated from tropical America, and is now a pantropic weed climbing over low vegetation on roadsides and in other disturbed places, especially in the tropics. Because it forms a dense ground cover, it can prevent or delay the establishment of other species. It favors wet areas and disturbed sites but can tolerate arid conditions. The Florida Exotic Pest Plant Council lists it as an invasive plant.

In conclusion, if you are willing to manage its aggressive vegetative growth and properly dispose of any fruits that form, you will find it is an excellent larval host plant for the Gulf Fritillary. It seems more likely that it would be more agressive in the tropical environs from which it originated than in the dry climate of Austin, Texas.


Passiflora foetida

Passiflora foetida

Passiflora foetida

 

 

More Diseases and Disorders Questions

Problems with Purple Heart in Raleigh, NC
December 24, 2014 - I was hoping you could help me with an indoor/outdoor houseplant issue. I have a purple heart, that lives outside in the summers and indoors in the winters. I brought it in a few weeks ago and am no...
view the full question and answer

Yellowing of leaves in Texas Mountain Laurel from Austin
June 25, 2012 - I planted a Texas Mountain Laurel in my Austin, TX yard this January. The tree was good sized (about 5 feet tall) when I planted it. Recently the leaves of the tree have started to turn yellow alon...
view the full question and answer

Transplanting care of Mayten tree (Maytenus sp.)
November 06, 2007 - I planted a Mayten tree 2 years ago. It's about 8 feet tall. The trunk is about 1-1/2 or 2" in diameter. The earth around it sunk and now there is a "bowl" that fills with water in the rain. I...
view the full question and answer

Wilting stems on beautyberry in Georgetown, TX
August 16, 2009 - Last summer I discovered that a 4-year old beautyberry had one (of many) stems that died. Leaves on this single stem wilted and dried up. This year the same happened to two or three stems. The rest of...
view the full question and answer

Yellowing of St. Augustine grass in south Texas
June 04, 2009 - We live in deep south Texas, Roma, Texas to be precise and we have a problem with our San Augustine grass. In the spring its quite nice and green after a few weeks and one rain it is turning yellow.
view the full question and answer

Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.
E-NEWSLETTER | BECOME A MEMBER | DONATE NOW | MEDIA | JOBS | SITEMAP | STAFF INTRANET
© 2016 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center