Rent Shop Volunteer Join

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
1 rating

Monday - June 15, 2009

From: Tarzana, , CA
Region: California
Topic: Invasive Plants
Title: Is it OK to plant Huisache in southern California?
Answered by: Joe Marcus

QUESTION:

We have a wonderful huisache growing on a very dry rocky/dusty slope. It has now sprouted babies and we are delighted because we have room for several more on this slope. I have some room on our front yard (West-facing, extreme summer heat in PM) which has a tipuanatipu (sp?) tree, mature (7 yrs), a strawberry tree, and several agaves and tall grasses. Can the huisache succeed in this same area? We are cutting way back on watering to fulfill DWP requirements here in Los Angeles county. I did not know the huisache was considered a nuisance. Until the seedlings showed up we were trying to find another one!! The huisache has proven very hardy and seems to have a good symbiotic relationship w/ the cacti and agaves. We use sprinklers at this time in the front yard. If I don't get an answer I'll assume it's OK to plant. Thanks,

ANSWER:

While the location you've selected to plant Acacia farnesiana (Huisache) is horticulturally acceptable but ecologically suspect.  We cannot recommend its use there because of its potential for invasivenss in your area.  Huisache is not native to southern California and there is concern of it becoming a weed there just as it has in other parts of the world where it's been introduced.

 

More Invasive Plants Questions

Removal of invasive roots of Turks Cap in College Station TX
April 29, 2014 - I know people have asked you questions about propagating Turk's Cap, but my question is a little different. I have this plant growing in several locations, because I have a large garden with lots...
view the full question and answer

List of North American plants grown in other countries
August 17, 2008 - I am working on a childrens story and would like to let the teachers who read this book know where some of the native plants in my book grow throughout the world, or if they grow outside of the USA. p...
view the full question and answer

Source for Saltmarsh cordgrass from Houston
April 16, 2013 - I work for a consulting firm and we are looking to do more of our wetland creation/restoration. Do you know where one can purchased Spartina alterniflora?
view the full question and answer

Control methods for Cenchrus spinifex, Coastal sandbur
September 22, 2006 - I have some of the nicest, thickest, greenest grassburs in the county of Erath. What is the best and quickest way to get rid of them? I have heard of a product called cornmeal gluten. Any info appreci...
view the full question and answer

Sources for ruellia from Houston
January 19, 2014 - I want to get a bunch of either ruellia nudiflora or ruellia drummondiana in my butterfly garden. But I cannot find it anywhere, and I have no idea where to get plants or seeds. Seems most vendors...
view the full question and answer

Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.