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

Thursday - June 25, 2009

From: Simi Valley, CA
Region: California
Topic: Non-Natives
Title: Non-native carrotwood tree in Simi Valley CA
Answered by: Barbara Medford


We have a beautiful 40+ foot carrotwood tree that has been covered with small nut-like pods growing in bunches. They are a mess. Is there a spray that controls/eliminates this problem?


You don't need a spray, you need a hatchet. Quick, quick, get that tree out of your landscape and your life. Those nut-like pods are seeds, incredibly messy, as you already know, and they are being eaten by birds, who then sow them wherever, they will lie on the ground and kill your grass, and the tree itself is an invasive weed. At the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center, we are devoted to promoting plants native not only to North America but to the area in which they are being grown. This plant is the poster child for invasive non-natives. It originated in Australia, Indonesia and New Guinea. We suggest that while you wait for the bulldozer to arrive, you read the following articles about places, including California, where it is already a menace. 

Plant Conservation Allliance Alien Plant Working Group Least Wanted Cupaniopsis anacardioides

Texas Invasives cupaniopsis anacardioides

Los Angeles Times Tree of the Week: Carrotwood Tree


More Non-Natives Questions

Identification of Sphaegneticola trilobata as non-native invasive plant
January 24, 2007 - Hello Mr. Smarty Plants, I have some wedelia growing but would like clarification on the type whether it is the texana or trilobata. Is the texana a bushy plant? Mine is more of the sprawling/tra...
view the full question and answer

Survival of non-native rosemary on sea breeze from Alberta Canada
July 28, 2011 - I read that Rosemary, in some locations, can live on nothing other than the humidity carried by the sea breeze. Is this true?
view the full question and answer

Erosion control in Spicewood TX
March 20, 2013 - I am from a small community along the Colorado River a few miles East of Marble Falls. We are looking for a ground cover/grass to prevent erosion on on our beach front. We had planned to use Bermuda G...
view the full question and answer

Digging wild buttercup from roadside in Mechanicsville MD
May 28, 2012 - Mr. Smarty Plants, is it illegal to dig out wild buttercup in Maryland? I see them along the dirt road or just in the ditch. Since buttercup considered weed, I'm wondering what the law say about this...
view the full question and answer

Yellowing of non-native eggplant in Temple TX
October 28, 2009 - I planted egg plants in my raised bed garden for the first time this season. The plants are healthy and have produced a number of beautiful small white fruit with purple accent (spots). However, the f...
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.
© 2015 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center