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

Monday - March 15, 2010

From: Austin, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Non-Natives
Title: Non-native bulbine damaged by freeze
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

Our Texas bulbine were hit hard this year. The tops are dead, not sure if any roots are still alive. Should we trim them back to the dirt; if roots are still alive, will they emerge again via root system?

ANSWER:

You have been led along by a nursery trade name for a plant that infers a plant is native to Texas when, in fact, it is not. "Texas bulbine" is actually Bulbine frutescens, Orange African Bulbine, native to (where else?) South Africa. Since at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center, we are only conversant in plants native not only to North America but to the area in which the plant is being grown, this plant is out of our expertise. We can tell you that it is hardy from USDA Zones 9 to 11, while Austin in is Zone 8a. This is probably not enough of a spread to make that much difference in survival chances,  but we had such sudden, hard freezes that marginal plants were hurt. We would suggest trimming them back to about 6 inches, water but don't fertilize, and wait. If they are well-established, they could come back up from their roots. See this article from the Pima County (AZ) Cooperative Extension Master Gardeners on Bulbine frutescens for more information.
 

More Non-Natives Questions

Diamonds and Rubies plant (Lychnis coronaria)
May 02, 2007 - I recently purchased a plant from the Huntsville, AL Botanical Gardens at their annual plant sale. The name on the plant tag is "Rubies and Diamonds". No one at the Botanical Garden knew the scien...
view the full question and answer

Problems with new transplant non-native weeping willow from Washington DC
September 10, 2012 - I replanted a very young BABY weeping willow tree and now it looks as if the leaves are drying up like it is dying. I know that it could also be in shock from the new transplant or it can be dying ...
view the full question and answer

New plant introductions in Georgia.
October 15, 2009 - Can you list 5-10 brand new plants to the marketplace this 2009-2010 season for my area in GA? Thank you.
view the full question and answer

Disposal of non-native chinaberry and ligustrum and their seeds
October 06, 2004 - I've got some chinaberry and ligustrum in a section of our lot that I am going to remove to make room for native plants. Both have berries, & I was wondering if running them through a chipper will ha...
view the full question and answer

Non-native, invasive Rapistrum rugosum
April 02, 2008 - What is the name of the alien, spindly, yellow mustard that we see blooming around Austin now ? Is it Hedge Mustard (Sisymbrium officinale) ?
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
© 2014 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center