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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.

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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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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!

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Wednesday - March 18, 2009

From: Charlottetown, Prince Edw
Region: Canada
Topic: Invasive Plants
Title: Violets becoming invasive in Prince Edward Island, Canada
Answered by: Barbara Medford and Joe Marcus

QUESTION:

Last Spring I planted several violets and by the end of the Summer they have become an invasion in my garden. I'm afraid that they will get into my lawn and cause a real problem. Any way of getting rid of them permanently before they get out of the flower beds around my house?

ANSWER:

There are a number of different species of the genus Viola native to North America, but we are guessing that what you have is Viola labradorica (alpine violet), since it is native to Prince Edward Island.

The best approach is to let 'em spread!  As wildflowers go, not many are prettier and more endearing than native violets.  A lawn sprinkled with these little twinkling jewels sounds like a bit of heaven to us!  However, removing violets takes perseverance. You must dig out the plants to remove all of the fleshy roots or else they simply resprout.  Remove spent flowers to prevent seeds from maturing and spreading.


Viola labradorica

Viola labradorica

 

 

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