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

Monday - September 26, 2005

From: Winchendon, MA
Region: Southeast
Topic: Non-Natives
Title: Non-native, invasive Datura sprouting from compost
Answered by: Nan Hampton

QUESTION:

Hi, I have a plant growing out of some compost we purchased this spring and no one can tell me what it is. It's about 4 ft. tall, the stem is maroon like rhubarb and it produces 4-5 in. tubular light purple flowers with a long stamen. It only opens in the early morning and late afternoon and dies off the next day. It has no smell and produces an oval, very thorny seed pod. The leaves look like oak leaves streched long. Someone said it was an angel trumpet or a red pigroot, but it's neither. It's driving me crazy!! Can you please help me?!!! Thank You in advance.

ANSWER:

This sounds like one of the Datura, probably Jimsonweed (Datura stramonium). It is an introduced species from Asia, but can be found in nearly every state of the U. S. Another non-native is D. metel, a native of India. D. wrightii is a very similar native North American species. These plants belong to the Family Solanaceae (Potato Family). Like many members of this family, Datura spp. are toxic but have been used in folk medicine for various ailments and have also been used as a psychotropic drug.
 

More Non-Natives Questions

Non-native Ginkgo biloba in New York
June 19, 2009 - A female Ginkgo tree dropped its seeds. Now, I have seedlings all over the yard. I don't want more female Ginkgo trees. They create putrid Ginkgo seeds. However, I would like more male Ginkgo trees. ...
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

Natural fibers for lashing bamboo in weaving
May 07, 2008 - I live in Austin and am looking for plants I can use for weaving fibers, e.g. lashing bamboo for a small project. What plants and parts do you recommend? What resources do you recommend for informatio...
view the full question and answer

Non-native little leaf linden (Tilia cordata)
June 24, 2011 - What is the name of the little leaf linden that has no flowers or pods to shed?
view the full question and answer

Comments on previous answer on non-native invasives from Raleigh NC
March 27, 2014 - https://www.wildflower.org/expert/show.php?id=7827 This answer is incorrect. Please have someone review it to remove the two invasive species you are encouraging people to plant by calling them nati...
view the full question and answer

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