Explore Plants

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
    
 

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
1 rating

Saturday - September 26, 2009

From: Beaumont, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Non-Natives
Title: Non-native Empress trees in Beaumont TX
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

I want to grow some Empress Trees in our yard. We have a huge yard and it is right on the corner of a cross street where they have just put a traffic light. People stopped at the light can see into our house. I understand they are invasive, without really knowing what that means. Please explain. I tried to find the information on the Texas Park and Wildlife website. I do not even know who to find out the information from.

ANSWER:

Paulownia tomentosa has several common names, including Empress Tree, Princess Tree and "Oh, no, not that." Please read this Plant Conservation Alliance's Alien Plant Working Group Least Wanted site on the reasons why this tree is totally inappropriate for planting anywhere in North America. You didn't find it on the Texas Parks and Wildlife website because it is so invasive, and can damage ecologies in many ways. And you won't find it on our website, either. The Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center is dedicated to the use, care and propagation of plants native not only to North America but to the area in which it is being grown. Introduced to the United States in 1840 as an ornamental plant, it is native to western and central China.

If you want more information on why NOT to grow this plant, go to this USDA National Invasive Species Information Center. There are a number more links on that site; you will soon learn that nobody, including people who unknowlingly planted it or unwillingly had it invade their property, likes this plant except the industry trying to sell it. You and anyone else not knowing what an invasive plant is should read this About.com: Landscaping Invasive Plants.

 

 

More Non-Natives Questions

Freeze damage to non-native Philodendron selloeum in Deltona FL
June 22, 2010 - My philodendrons selloeum died this past winter in the freeze,came back slowly this spring and now are suffering with very small deformed leaves. Some do grow but are getting large brown dry areas on ...
view the full question and answer

Suggestions for alternatives to invasive, non-native English ivy
August 17, 2006 - Can English ivy be planted in a pot, kept oudoors, and expected to endure our Maryland winters?
view the full question and answer

What variations of non-native Lavender will grow in Montgomery County TX
June 18, 2011 - I live in East Montgomery County, Texas. What varieties of Lavender grow best in my area? I had some success with Providence variety and Spanish variety. I would like to grow more varieties if possi...
view the full question and answer

Root cuttings for non-native, poisonous oleander from Mobile AL
December 16, 2010 - I need help with best method to root cuttings from my oleander tree. Please advise best method. Thanks
view the full question and answer

White specks on unknown houseplant from Ridgeway SC
June 20, 2013 - I have an unknown houseplant that seems to have some sort of pest or disease on it. It has white snowy specks atop its leaf. I bought this purple fuzzy leafed houseplant from Walmart in Winnsboro, SC ...
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.