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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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Saturday - September 20, 2008

From: Wimberley, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Invasive Plants
Title: Poverty Weed in Wimberley, Texas
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

I have seen differing reports about the native plant, Baccharis neglecta or Poverty Weed. Some reports say it is invasive and others consider it an acceptable native plant. I have quite a few Poverty Weed plants on my property and would like your opinion about whether to leave it or remove it.

ANSWER:

An invasive or a weed is in the eye of the beholder, isn't it? Baccharis neglecta (Rooseveltweed) is not only not on the Texas Invasives List, but is considered a native alternative to invasives Elaegnus angustifolia (Russian olive) and Elaegnus umbellata (autumn olive). We kind of like it, it's open and lacy-looking, can survive on little water and a lot of sun, and is considered a good nectar plant for pollinators, including butterflies. We think it has more to do with what type of landscaping you're talking about. If it's out in a large field, it would seem to be a pleasant plant to take up some of the room. Perhaps in a small urban garden it would be a little overwhelming, and you would need to be militant in pulling up sprouts, so you didn't get a Poverty Weed forest. If you live close to property occupied by people who don't like it, you might want to trim the flowers off as soon as they have finished blooming, and before they set seed. And we probably wouldn't go to a nursery and buy one to plant-probably couldn't even find one, but if you have them volunteering, and like them, go for it.


Baccharis neglecta

Baccharis neglecta

Baccharis neglecta

Baccharis neglecta

 

 

 

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