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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.

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Ask Mr. Smarty Plants is a free service provided by the staff and volunteers at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center.

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Wednesday - April 21, 2010

From: Driftwood, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Non-Natives
Title: Non-native Crimson Clover coming up with bluebonnets in Driftwood TX
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

Is Crimson Clover considered invasive? We have some coming up in our field with our Bluebonnets.

ANSWER:

This  USDA Natural Resources Consevation Service says that Trifolium incarnatum, Crimson Clover is, indeed, considered to be somewhat invasive. It is also native to Western Asia and Europe, which puts it out of our range of expertise. At the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center, we are dedicated to the use, protection and propagation of plants native not only to North America but to the area in which they are being grown. This USDA Plant Profile shows that Crimson Clover is growing in Travis County, which means it has probably now moved over into Hays County. You are noticing it more now because, like bluebonnets, it is a member of the Fabaceae, or pea, family, fixes nitrogen in the soil and is a winter annual. 

We saw articles praising this plant and recommending planting it because it made a good cover plant during hot weather. Since bluebonnets and Trifolium incarnatum are so similar, even to growing and blooming at the same time, it would be difficult to know how you could eliminate the one and not the other. 

Perhaps the Texas A&M AgriLIFE Extension Office for Hays County might have some suggestions on dealing with this problem. 

 

 

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