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

Thursday - May 13, 2010

From: Austin, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Non-Natives
Title: Invasive, non-native Bryophyllum spp. in Austin
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

I was given two varieties of what I now believe are 'Mother of Millions' and saw that they're considered a noxious weed in Australia. Are these plants considered dangerous to TX if I keep them in containers? Should I destroy them? If so, what is the best method? Thanks!

ANSWER:

Bryophyllum spp. genus contains many species of this succulent plant. Most of the websites we found are from Australia, which has a lot of problems with invasives not native to that country. We have also heard it called 'Mother of Thousands.' Not only is it invasive but some of the species are also poisonous; allowed to grow in fields ingesting it has caused the deaths of cattle and other livestock.

There are also conflicting opinions on exactly what the scientific name of these plants is; another resource said that Bryophyllum spp is a species in the genus Kalanchoe. You might want to read the conflicting opinions in this Dave's Garden forum website. The information on this site is that it is in the family Crassulaceae, genus Kalanchoe and species daigremontiana.

Whatever it's called, it is native to Madagascar and Africa, and therefore not part of our Native Plant Database. It can be frozen back, but we would not recommend putting it out in the garden. Apparently, it's an ugly plant with pretty flowers. If you wanted to keep it in a pot, we would recommend watching carefully that little plantlets didn't get away and sprout, and keep it out of the reach of children and pets. 

Pictures from Google

 

More Non-Natives Questions

Problems with non-native impatiens in Denton, TX
May 19, 2009 - Dear Mr. Smarty Plants, 4 weeks ago I planted a shady bed (2'x10') with impatiens for the third year in-a-row. Previously, the plants thrived & bloomed till November. Three weeks ago, something ...
view the full question and answer

Insects on non-native euonymus in Lake Orion MI
June 23, 2010 - I had a greenlane euonymus that had a few flies last year but was infested with thousands this year. We ripped it out, it was an 8 year old plant. Do you know why they are attracted to it now?
view the full question and answer

Difference beteen two non-native photinias from Nashville TN
June 07, 2013 - What is the difference between red tip phontinias and fireball phontinias. I read that fireballs are also called red tips but I thought that red tips grow to like 12 ft. and the tag on the fireball I...
view the full question and answer

Non-native photinias dying from Austin
September 14, 2012 - I have some red tip potinias that are dying. The ends of the branches are dying and the leaves are turning brown, I don't think this is the fungus that affects most red tips, any clues?
view the full question and answer

Transplant shock for non-native Plumbago auriculata
May 19, 2008 - I planted some full plumbago plants that were in containers, in a partially shaded area, they had beautiful flowers when I purchased them, but have since lost them all and the plant is looking very wi...
view the full question and answer

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