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
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

Deadheading cannas and geraniums
August 17, 2007 - I'm new to gardening. Your help would be appreciated. 1) I think I read that canna flowers can be deadheaded so they will continue to bloom throughout the summer. What part is actually taken off? ...
view the full question and answer

A method for killing nandina and ligustrum with herbicide
October 19, 2012 - Is there an effective herbicide that can be painted on the stumps of Nandina and Wax-leaf ligustrum to keep them from growing back? Thanks so much!
view the full question and answer

Leaves on non-native Confederate Jasmine dry up in Buda TX
June 23, 2011 - Leaves on star or confederate jasmine vine dry up. Not due to lack of water and I can't find any insect damage. Starts with one shoot and then spreads to entire plant. I will try to attach picture...
view the full question and answer

Correct spelling of Passiflora caerulea
August 07, 2007 - What is correct, passiflora coerulea or caerulea ?
view the full question and answer

Failure to bloom of tropical plumeria
July 04, 2008 - I have had my plumeria for the past five years. The first three years it bloomed but has not the past two. The plant is healthy and continues to grow but will not flower. It seems to be very health...
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.
E-NEWSLETTER | BECOME A MEMBER | DONATE NOW | MEDIA | SITEMAP | STAFF
© 2015 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center