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 - October 10, 2005

From: Baton Rouge, LA
Region: Southeast
Topic: Non-Natives
Title: Native and non-native Wandering Jew and Four o Clocks
Answered by: Nan Hampton

QUESTION:

I am looking for information on 2 separate plants in my yard. The names that people have given me on what they are is as follows: Wondering Jew Four O'Clock

ANSWER:

There are at least three plants known as Wandering Jew. They are Tradescantia zebrina, T. fluminensis, and T. pallida. Only T. pallida is reported to be native to the U.S. (Louisiana and Florida). The others have been introduced from Central and South America.

There are several plants that have the common name of Four O'Clock. Here are the ones that are native to Louisiana: Mirabilis nyctaginea and M. albida. Since it is in your garden I suspect it is M. jalapa, a native of South America that is sold in nurseries and has now become naturalized over much of the eastern and southwestern U.S. There are several color varieties available from nurseries.
 

More Non-Natives Questions

Donation of seeds of Silphium Terebinthinaceum to India
October 03, 2009 - Hi, I am located in India. I am planning to plant Silphium Terebinthinaceum in my garden in India. Please let me know who can donate me seeds to India. I need 20-30 seeds.
view the full question and answer

Non-native, invasive bamboo for sloped river bank in Texas?
April 01, 2010 - What type of native plants/trees/shrubs/grasses would you recommend planting on a 20 ft sloped bank on the Colorado river in Texas to prevent further erosion of the bank? How do you feel about bamboo?...
view the full question and answer

Problems with non-native weeping willow
April 17, 2009 - The trunk of my Weeping Willow tree has raised donut growths.The left base has decay. There is a large space between the base and the soil (no roots) and the wood is brittle. Large ants with a black ...
view the full question and answer

Plant mistakes from Cedar Park, TX
April 09, 2014 - At our "Wilts End" in Cedar Park, TX. and are looking for a tall shrub/tree that will hide a 6-ft tall concrete wall and muffle the noise from a busy street. The wall forms a very wide-angled V shap...
view the full question and answer

Thorns on non-native orange trees
March 04, 2007 - I just moved into a new home that has orange trees in the yard. The tree trunks and limbs are thorny. What kind of oranges are they? How should I care for them? Is it ok to cut off the thorns so t...
view the full question and answer

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