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

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

Forget-me-nots choking a spring in Bethlehem PA
June 20, 2013 - Hi Mr. Smarty Plants, I am restoring a native plant area along a spring that feeds directly into our local creek. Right now the spring is becoming choked with forget-me-nots, that I am trying ...
view the full question and answer

Plants to replace hydrangeas in a wet area in New York
July 09, 2010 - Dear Smarty, Two years ago I planted 4 Endless Summer Hydrangas in front of the front porch of my summer cottage on Saratoga Lake. The first year they struggled the second they are limp. Can you give...
view the full question and answer

Non-native begonias and Texas summer
March 06, 2009 - I live in Austin, TX. I have two flower beds that each get plenty of sun during the day (8 to 10 hours in summer time). I love Begonias and was considering planting Begonias in my flowerbeds. Will ...
view the full question and answer

Bermuda, not the only option in Memphis
November 04, 2014 - I'm building an energy efficient home in Memphis and want to extend that strategy to the landscaping. I'd like to plant native grasses, but this lot is surrounded by lots sodded with Bermuda grass....
view the full question and answer

Need trees to screen view of parking garage in Houston, TX.
December 29, 2011 - We live in Houston, TX with a beautiful lot except a 4 story parking garage has been built behind us. How can we screen this and the lights out of site. It looks terrible from the second story espec...
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 | SITEMAP | STAFF
© 2016 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center