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
3 ratings

Tuesday - August 26, 2008

From: Fairfield, CA
Region: California
Topic: Non-Natives
Title: Eradicating non-native pyracantha bushes in California
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

We removed several pyracantha bushes but they keep coming up in other parts of the garden. How do we kill the shoots? Thank you for any help

ANSWER:

Pyracantha coccinea, also called Scarlet Firethorn, is a native of Southern Europe to the Caucasus Mountains in western Asia. Since at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center, we are dedicated to the use and protection of plants native to North America, we do not have this plant in our Native Plant Database. However, we can usually find some websites that will help.

In this case, we have had personal experience with Pyracantha. The common name Scarlet Firethorn is certainly appropriate. More than once, in trying to prune or shape or destroy the plants, we got stabbed with those ferocious thorns. Not only did they hurt like anything, but they appeared to have some sort of venom on their tips that really burned. And when it came time to take them out, that was a problem, too. In fact, years later, preparing a flower bed in the same area, we came across big roots from the pyracantha. Since it propagates by berries, and the berries are usually prolific, and birds like the berries and bring some more in to plant in your yard, the shoots do keep popping up. There really is no quick and easy solution. If you spray them with an herbicide, you risk harming other plants more valuable to you. The first order of business is to rake up and destroy any berries you find, before they can sprout or before a bird can plant them for you. Second, just keep pulling the sprouts out. Other people in your neighborhood probably have the pyracantha bushes, too, so you'll just have to be vigilant.

 

More Non-Natives Questions

Non-native, non-invasive Thunbergia alata
March 30, 2006 - I'm trying to find the proper name for Climbing Blackeyed Susan, or Blackeyed Susan Vine. We had one on a trellis and it was beautiful, but I'm told that it is an undesirable weed. Any info apprec...
view the full question and answer

New growth on Amur Maple turning black in McPherson, Kansas.
June 29, 2010 - Re: Amur Maple bushes Approximately 2 yrs old, 4 ft tall. New growth at the end of some branches is turning black. Plants are mulched with grass clippings. We live in Kansas. Thanks for any info....
view the full question and answer

Will roots of non-native Bottlebrush damage foundation in Weslaco TX
April 02, 2011 - I have a bottle Brush tree planted 2 feet from a brick wall. The condo board told me to remove it for fear that it may crack the foundation of the wall. I don't want to remove it. I believe they are ...
view the full question and answer

Plant identification
February 20, 2014 - I'm not sure of county of origin. It was given to me by someone I no longer have contact with. When I initially received it I thought it was just a small potted vine of some type. I've had it a yea...
view the full question and answer

Care for non-native Easter Lily (Lilium longiflorum)
June 07, 2005 - How do you care for an Easter Lily once the flowers have fallen off?
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