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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.

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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.

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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!

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Friday - May 14, 2010

From: Hochheim, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Non-Natives, Pests, Groundcovers
Title: Eliminating straggler daisy from St. Augustine grass in Hochheim TX
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

I have straggler daisy in my St. Augustine grass. What herbicides work well on straggler daisy and won't ding up the grass too bad?

ANSWER:

You realize, of course, that you are asking us to help you get rid of a native plant (Calyptocarpus vialis (straggler daisy) in favor of a non-native grass. 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 being grown. We have even recommended Straggler Daisy as a shade ground cover. It will grow in shade, is tolerant of moderate foot traffic, is semi-evergreen and blooms with tiny yellow blooms from March to November, attracting small butterflies.  Stenotaphrum secundatum, St. Augustine grass, on the other hand, is a high maintenance, water guzzling grass that originated in Africa.

However, since you ask: Straggler Daisy can be pulled up, but it's not too easy, because it spreads by rhizomes underground. It is a dicot, or broadleaf plant, and the St. Augustine is a monocot, or narrowleaf plant. You can buy herbicides specifically for a broadleaf plant, and spray it on the area. It will not damage the monocot grasses it is mixed in with. However, spray with great caution, and try to find a windless day. Remember, your ornamental shrubs and trees are broadleaf plants, too. Too enthusiastic a spraying of the herbicide could result in damage or loss of some of your other more cherished plants. 

From Our Native Plant Image Gallery:


Calyptocarpus vialis

Calyptocarpus vialis

Calyptocarpus vialis

Calyptocarpus vialis

 

 

 

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