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 - April 12, 2010

From: Austin, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Invasive Plants
Title: Problems with pink oxalis in Austin
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

I have a bed of pink oxalis. The leaves are turning rusty and withering. It is spreading. Can you tell me how to remedy this?

ANSWER:

There are 10 members of the genus Oxalis native to North America and 6 to Texas, none of which has the common name "pink oxalis." Oxalis is the largest genus in the wood-sorrel family, and the only Pink Oxalis we could find is Oxalis articulata, pink wood-sorrel, native to South America, particularly Brazil and Argentina. Since the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center is dedicated to the use, protection and propagation of plants native not only to North America but to the area in which they are growing, this plant is out of our expertise. We can tell you that we found sites that called it an "invasive weed," and know it is very difficult to eradicate from where it is unwanted because of its underground tubers. It is cold-tolerant to USDA Hardiness Zone 8b; Austin is Zone 8a. That's close enough and, in view of the hard freezes we had in the Austin area this year, might have been sufficient for you to be seeing freeze damage. In addition, the wood-sorrels ordinarily die back and disappear as warmer weather approaches. If you don't want it in your garden, due to its invasive nature, you might consider getting it out now, while you have the chance. However, the tiniest little bit of the bulbil from which the plant grows will produce more of it. 

Pictures of Oxalis articulata from Google. 

 

More Invasive Plants Questions

Why is Asphodelus fistulosus (onionweed) forbidden by property owners assoications?
May 14, 2009 - Our local property owners association is imploring us to remove all onionweed (Asphodelus fistulosus L.). The USDA lists it as a noxious weed. Why? I think it is pretty and flowery. Is it poison...
view the full question and answer

Blackeyed Susans becoming invasive in Fredericksburg VA
August 10, 2009 - Are the roots of the Blackeyed Susan (BES) invasive enough to actually destroy bulbs. BES have moved into a bed exactly where my oriental lilies were..this year the whole row of red lilies (which had...
view the full question and answer

Destruction of Straggler Daisy in Austin
December 18, 2011 - I hate Straggler Daisy. Not to be offensive, but it appears from other posts on this site that you, Mr. Smarty Plants, and many others would like to treat it as a protected species. It is taking over ...
view the full question and answer

Poverty plant overgrown in Austin
June 06, 2012 - We have a poverty plant that is too big for its space in our yard. We like it and want to keep it. Can it be transplanted easily? What about pruning it.
view the full question and answer

Plants for oak shade from Whitney TX
December 24, 2012 - I live in Whitney, Texas and have a number of beautiful Live Oak trees in a portion of my yard providing deep shade. Asian Jasmine grows in about 5 ft circle around them and then nothing! I have walk ...
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