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?

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
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 - September 02, 2009

From: Tofino, BC
Region: Canada
Topic: Invasive Plants
Title: Distinguishing wax myrtle from Daphne laureola in Tofino BC
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

I am wondering how to distinguish California Wax Myrtle from Daphne Laurel, the latter which I would prefer to eradicate from my property. If it is wax myrtle, it gets to live..

ANSWER:

We believe that what you are referring to is Daphne laureola, another common name is Spurge laurel. It originated in Africa and Europe, and therefore it is out of our range of expertise at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center, where we deal only in plants native not only to North America but to the areas in which they are being grown. However, Daphne laureola is also poisonous and invasive, declared a noxious weed in several parts of the United States, which does make it our business. From this USDA Plant Profile, we can see that it is mainly infesting Oregon, Washington and British Columbia, no comfort to you, we're sure.

Morella californica (California wax myrtle)  is native to the same area, as well as some more states to the south of Oregon in the United States, again according to the USDA Plant Profile, so there is a good possibilibility both are existing in your vicinity. 

The best thing we can do, in answer to your question, is to direct you to websites describing each in detail (with instructions on getting rid of the Daphne laureola) and hope you can work from there. We found an excellent website from King County, Washington Noxious Weeds that not only discusses it in detail, but gives you other links for further research. Pictures of Daphne laureola  from Google.

Follow our link on Morella californica (California wax myrtle) to our webpage on this plant, and also see this Fact Sheet from the Virginia Tech Department of Forest Resources and Environmental Conservation on Morella californica. Pictures of Morella california from Google.

Since neither plant is native to, nor appears to grow in, Texas  we have no personal experience to share with you.  Perhaps you could contact an agricultural office or university in your area for closer-to-home experience.


 

More Invasive Plants Questions

Getting rid of Polygonum punctatum (dotted smartweed)
July 28, 2008 - Dear Mr. Smarty Plants, After much online research, my property has been invaded by what I believe to be Persicaria polygonum punctata, more commonly known as dotted smartweed. I have tried hortic...
view the full question and answer

Dwarf oyster plant dying in Sunrise FL
July 06, 2012 - WHAT WOULD BE KILLING MY DWARF OYSTER PLANTS
view the full question and answer

Chinaberry trees coming up volunteer
October 14, 2007 - I have several chinaberry trees that have sprouted after my neighbor trimmed his tree. I have cut these trees down to the ground a couple of times, but they just send out new shoots. Any idea on how...
view the full question and answer

Invasive iceplant in Hawaii
October 29, 2008 - Last time I checked Hawaii was in North America. Invasive or not, iceplant continues to be a much used ground cover etc for golf courses, sides of the freeway and many many City and County projects pr...
view the full question and answer

Eliminating bamboo in Austin
December 07, 2009 - Everyone should be warned about bamboo and how invasive it is. My neighbor planted it in his back yard and it's now taking over my back yard and all the surrounding yards. He installed a barrier but ...
view the full question and answer

Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.
E-NEWSLETTER | BECOME A MEMBER | DONATE NOW | MEDIA | SITEMAP | STAFF
© 2016 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center