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?


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

Wednesday - March 18, 2009

From: Dothan, AL
Region: Southeast
Topic: Invasive Plants, Problem Plants
Title: Elimination of Whitemouth dayflower in Dothan AL
Answered by: Barbara Medford


I am infested with Widow's Tears in my yard. I would like to get rid of them. Can you tell me how?


While all the references we saw said this was a lovely little flower nice for naturalizing in masses with early spring bloom, the same references admitted it could be invasive, which you already know. Unfortunately, we have no unique new ideas on how to get rid of Commelina erecta (whitemouth dayflower). It is mostly still a matter of pulling it out. Compounding the problem is that it has tubers in its root system, which makes it more difficult to eliminate the plant. And it's hard to get hold of, because, in spite of its name, it grows upright only if supported by other plants. Some sources said a hard freeze would kill the plant, but you're not likely to have a freeze that severe in Alabama. Also, in moderate climates like yours, what is usually an annual plant becomes a perennial. See this website Garden Bits Spiderwort to get another perspective.

Commelina erecta

Commelina erecta

Commelina erecta

Commelina erecta




More Problem Plants Questions

Identity of and how to get rid of plant in planter in Indiana
May 17, 2013 - We moved to Mooresville Ind. (Brooklyn area) 3 yrs ago. In one of the 12x12 planters out back, these one THINGS keep cutting back and spreading everywhere. They are tall, hollow stem, seems like ther...
view the full question and answer

Is Mimosa pudica poisonous from Janesville WI
February 21, 2014 - I have just recently learned of Mimosa Pudica also known as the sensitive plant. I see using the USDA website that it can be found in the USA so I think that covers the North America aspect. I have b...
view the full question and answer

cultivating the invasive Passiflora incense
July 16, 2014 - Hello! I have been collecting passiflora for a while now, recently I purchased a "P. Incarnata" from a local nursery where I have gotten a few other species to grow along my herb garden recently. No...
view the full question and answer

Eliminating and replacing Tradescantia species
July 03, 2013 - Dear Mr. Smarty Pants, I need advice. I recently figured out my 10 month old dog is highly allergic to Tradescantia sp, commonly known as the Spiderworts, and "Wandering Jew" which covers about h...
view the full question and answer

Will the
May 27, 2015 - I'm becoming interested in rain gardens, and although Silphium perfoliatum does not appear to be a host for butterfly caterpillars and like most of the "giant tall grass prairie daisies" may be a b...
view the full question and answer

Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.
© 2015 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center