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
1 rating

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

 

 

 

More Groundcovers Questions

Plantings for a slope from New Carrollton MD
June 27, 2012 - My house (Maryland, near DC) sits at the bottom of a south facing slope. The soil is very heavy clay. The grade is about 1:20 for about 100 feet (with a steeper part at the top). Part of the hill is i...
view the full question and answer

Short or mowable plant for walkway
June 03, 2008 - I'd like a short and/or mowable plant to use as a walkway in and around a vegetable garden in upstate NY. I was planning on clover, but I want to use a native plant if possible. The native clovers ...
view the full question and answer

Native Groundcover Suggestions for Under Florida Oak Trees
April 03, 2015 - I am looking for native plants that will do well under several oak trees in Northeast Florida. My yard doesn't get much sun and I'm told I have acidic soil. Are the any plants that would do well wit...
view the full question and answer

Does Calyptocarpus vialis (Horseherb) compete with turf grasses
October 05, 2015 - For my yard in central Austin Does horse herb, Calyptocarpus vialis help or damage the growth of native short grasses? The grasses include Curly Mesquite and Blue Gamma planted early in the spring or...
view the full question and answer

Sunny and shady lawns from Austin
April 28, 2012 - My front yard has a large bed surrounded by a mix of St. Augustine and Bermuda grass. Last summers heat killed off about 90% of the St. Augustine, which we would like to replace anyway to conserve re...
view the full question and answer

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