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
Not Yet Rated

Sunday - August 23, 2009

From: Raleigh, NC
Region: Southeast
Topic: Non-Natives
Title: Non-native Ruellia brittonia in Raleigh NC
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

I have discovered Mexican Petunias this year. I LOVE THEM! Beautiful plant. However, they are so tall and after a rain are leaning badly. Should I tie them back? Will they get stronger as they mature? I also have a low growing variety that I love. Can I divide it? I have a large, red clay hill that I have planted on behind my house. It would be beautiful to cover with the low growing variety.

ANSWER:

Ruellia brittonia, Mexican petunia, is native to Mexico, the Caribbean and South America, and therefore out of our range of expertise. At the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center, we are committed to the care, protection and propagation of plants native not only to North America but to the area in which the plant is being grown.  They also are known to have the capacity for becoming invasive. Since they are not in our Native Plant Database, here are two websites with more information: Floridata and Center for Aquatic and Invasive Plants.

 

More Non-Natives Questions

Pruning practices from Austin
May 16, 2013 - I need to do some pruning in my front beds and I know nothing about plants. From what I have been able to identify I have bicolor irises, plumbago, Japanese Aralia. I don't even know where to begin o...
view the full question and answer

Non-native, invasive bermudagrass from Memphis TN
August 17, 2012 - I live in central Memphis and have well-drained clay soil. I have converted much of the front yard from turf grass to beds of native plants, which survive our hot humid without supplemental watering e...
view the full question and answer

Non-native Ornithogalum longibracteatum (Pregnant Onion)
June 27, 2007 - Dear Sir, I have a plant called a Pregnant Onion. It looks like an onion and it has babies develop on its body and the surface peals off like an onion. It's leaves grow to about a yard long and th...
view the full question and answer

Locating non-native Bradford pear tree in Austin
June 07, 2008 - Where can I find a Bradford pear tree in Austin, TX?
view the full question and answer

Eliminating KR? Bluestem from St. Augustine Yard in Spicewood, TX
April 28, 2012 - How can I eradicate bluestem grass invading my St. Augustine lawn?
view the full question and answer

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