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 - 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

Eliminating kudzu from Richmond KY
March 26, 2014 - I live in Richmond KY, Kirksville area. I have noticed that Kudzu has started to grow in my patch of land next to the creek. How can I get rid of this before it becomes a big problem?
view the full question and answer

Identification and replacement of chinaberry tree (Melia azedarach)
April 24, 2007 - I am trying to identify and locate a native tree. We live in Fairview, near Allen, Texas. It is in bloom now. It has fragrant small lavender 5 petal flowers in clusters. They develop into yellow/t...
view the full question and answer

Eliminating dogbane from transplanted milkweed in Franklin Lakes NJ
May 10, 2010 - We transplanted milkweed from the wild into our garden. Included in the clump of milkweed was dogbane. We weren't aware of how invasive dogbane is. We've has some success in digging it out but we'...
view the full question and answer

Information about empress tree (Paulownia tomentosa)
March 07, 2008 - I have an Empress Tree, 3 yrs old, and the limbs grow straight out from the trunk about 2-3ft and then grow straight upward. When do they start to grow outward for a canopy??
view the full question and answer

Difficulty with Clay Soil from Palm Bay, FL
August 22, 2012 - I had a very nice little native shady area behind my house for over 40 years, but now it has been cleared except for a 100 foot tall live oak in the center of this raised mound (50' x 80'). I've be...
view the full question and answer

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