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 - 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

Invasive American Germander from San Antonio
May 14, 2012 - I brought home some American Germander (Teucruim canadense) - page 259 In Wildflowers of Texas by Geyata Ajilvsgi - from a railroad right-of-way. Since it is a member of the mint family it has becom...
view the full question and answer

Identification of invasive plant
March 26, 2010 - I have found an invasive plant species in Martindale, Texas that I would like to identify for family members. It is taking over their pasture and is difficult to eliminate. It has not bloomed yet but...
view the full question and answer

Alternate native plants for bamboo as a privacy screen in Austin, TX.
July 26, 2011 - Can you recommend a bamboo that I can plant, acting as a privacy screen, reaching at least 10'-12'? We are looking for a bamboo that does not spread, and can take the afternoon sun. It will be pla...
view the full question and answer

Need to Control Giant Ragweed in Wildflower Field in Austin, Texas
December 11, 2010 - I have an acre pond around my business park planted with several different kinds of wildflowers. I let all the vegetation grow until the first frost, because I have wildflowers that grow throughout ...
view the full question and answer

How to get rid of nut grass from San Antonio
March 22, 2011 - We just had a house built on a lot that was mostly rock. The small back yard has a berm on which they brought in soil then mulched it. Now we are getting all sorts of weeds through the mulch, what my...
view the full question and answer

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