En Español

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 - May 17, 2010

From: Austin, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Invasive Plants
Title: Need to know about the invasiveness of Datura wrightii.
Answered by: Jimmy Mills

QUESTION:

Dear Mr. Smarty Plants, I recently purchased a small Datura wrightii plant for my front garden. I've been researching it, since I know it is quite toxic, and couldn't find a good answer to one question. I saw one or two places online that described D. wrightii as being invasive; but it doesn't specify in what region. Since it seems to be native to this area, I wouldn't think it would be classified as invasive here, but I'm curious as to whether it would be expected to spread heavily in a place like Austin (one super-toxic plant I can take, a yard full of them I'd like to avoid). Thank you!

ANSWER:

The lowly Jimson Weed Datura wrightii (sacred thorn-apple)  has very showy flowers but all parts of the plant are considered toxic. Therefore your concern about its invasiveness is warranted.

As to its invasiveness, I have read posts on the davesgarden.com site that decry the invasive nature of the plant. The people here at the Wildflower Center that I have talked with tend to discount the extent of its invasiveness. In the wild, it can readily invade disturbed areas, but careful management in the garden can prevent its spread.

The plant propagates by seeds, and you can prevent their development by removing the flowers as they fade. This is known as deadheading.


 

 

More Invasive Plants Questions

Groundcovers to choke out invasive species in Virginia
June 08, 2015 - My yard has open woods and dappled light with clay soil. Thirty years ago we removed huge briars and since English Ivy was getting in by itself, we thought we would let it come; unfortunately, it not ...
view the full question and answer

Understory planting in Virginia
July 03, 2009 - We have some 10 mature tulip and sycamore trees in our No. VA property. The previous home owners were fond of English Ivy and Japanese pachysandra. We are working hard at replacing these invasives to ...
view the full question and answer

Getting rid of sandburs in horse pasture in Minnesota
March 17, 2009 - How do I get rid of sandburs in my horse pasture?
view the full question and answer

Brown, dry leaves on weeping willow tree
May 01, 2008 - We live in central TX and have just planted a weeping willow tree. Our back yard has a retention pond and ravine that parallels our property and we were told that the weeping willow will do perfectly ...
view the full question and answer

Native replacement for non-native Bermudagrass in Leander TX
October 16, 2011 - We have Bermuda grass. Large patches have died due to the drought and our yard has been taken over by weeds and St. Augustine grass whose seeds must have blown in. Even when the grass was in great con...
view the full question and answer

Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.
E-NEWSLETTER | BECOME A MEMBER | DONATE NOW | MEDIA | JOBS | SITEMAP | STAFF INTRANET
© 2016 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center