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
2 ratings

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

 

 

 

More Invasive Plants Questions

Removing non-native plants appearing in Austin in early spring
March 14, 2012 - In order to know which plants to keep and which to remove, is there a source to look up and identify common non-native plants that are seen in Austin about this time of the year (late winter, early Sp...
view the full question and answer

Absence of grass around a willow tree in Georgia
December 22, 2008 - In the past three years my Willow tree has grown from a stick to a lovely tree. Unfortunately, the grass under and around the tree is gone. Nothing left but dirt. Is there a remedy?
view the full question and answer

Differences between Desmodium and Lespedezda
June 19, 2014 - i am trying to determine the difference between lespedeza and desmodium in my full sun wildflower and tall grasses meadow. There appear to be a number of different types of these plants, and they are...
view the full question and answer

Is Yaupon Invasive in the Austin Area?
March 24, 2011 - Is Yaupon Holly invasive in the Austin area? Should we be removing it from our yards and/or greenbelt spaces? Thanks for your input!
view the full question and answer

Comments on previous answer on non-native invasives from Raleigh NC
March 27, 2014 - https://www.wildflower.org/expert/show.php?id=7827 This answer is incorrect. Please have someone review it to remove the two invasive species you are encouraging people to plant by calling them nati...
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