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
Not Yet Rated

Sunday - September 07, 2008

From: Rapid City, MI
Region: Midwest
Topic: Non-Natives
Title: Invasive, non-native Cirsium arvense in Michigan
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

I have identified that I have growing abundantly "Canada Thistle";the noxious and invasive. I know this to be true because where it grows nothing else grows; not even the native weeds. I want to get rid of it!!!!! Can you direct me as to how I may do this? I have tried pulling it out before it seeds; burning it and cutting it down and it always seems to return in a vengeance!!

ANSWER:

We do sympathize, that is one nasty weed. However, there is no magic formula for getting rid of it. Refer to this Plant Conservation Alliance Alien Plant Working Group paper on Cirsium arvense for some  information on the plant. As a non-native plant, it doesn't fall into our ordinary realm of experience at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center, but as an invasive, we are certainly interested in controlling it. The plant is native to temperate regions of Eurasia, and was introduced to North America, probably accidentally, in the 1600's. Another resource is this University of California at Davis website on Canada Thistle, with instructions on identification and control. We neither recommend for nor against use of pesticides, and urge you to use them with caution, following the directions carefully. One of the points that site made is that it can be more damaging in cooler parts of North America, which would include Michigan. We wish you well in exterminating a really bad pest.  

 

More Non-Natives Questions

Will non-native poisonous oleander grow through non-native invasive bermudagrass in Ft. Worth?
February 20, 2011 - I was wondering if you knew which flowering plants would grow through grass. I have bermuda, have tried raised beds but due to uneven yard with lots of rock it would be too expensive to do properly. ...
view the full question and answer

Getting rid of non-native lesser celandine in Oswego NY
May 11, 2011 - Help! We have lesser celandine on approx. an acre of our property right on Lake Ontario, it's in my gardens and in our yard, and in the woods, I have dug it out of my gardens, but I'm not able to g...
view the full question and answer

Non-native carrotwood tree in Simi Valley CA
June 25, 2009 - We have a beautiful 40+ foot carrotwood tree that has been covered with small nut-like pods growing in bunches. They are a mess. Is there a spray that controls/eliminates this problem?
view the full question and answer

Locating ruda plants in Florida
January 24, 2009 - Where I can find or who sells Ruda plants? in the Miami, Florida area ?
view the full question and answer

Leaves on non-native Rose Cactus
January 30, 2009 - I have a Rose Cactus (Pereskia grandifolia). The leaves have all dropped off. I was wondering if this is normal in the winter. Also, is the pear shaped fruit edible.
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