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

Tuesday - February 07, 2006

From: Delta, CO
Region: Rocky Mountain
Topic: Non-Natives
Title: Many different species called
Answered by: Joe Marcus and Nan Hampton

QUESTION:

I know from researching that Dusty Miller is drought tolerant. But, I tend to water too much when I do get irrigation water. Will it stand this? (clay soil, near a very young globe willow, southern exposure, hot summers,wind,)

ANSWER:

Dusty Miller is often cited as an example of the problem associated with using common names. Here's a list of species with the common name of Dusty Miller and their nativity:

1. Senecio cineraria - Mediterranean
2. Lychnis coronaria - Mediterranean
3. Chrysanthemum ptarmiciflorum - Canary Islands
4. Centaurea cineraria - Mexico
5. Centaurea gymnocarpa - Capraia, Italy (endemic)
6. Centaurea ragusiana - Adriatic
7. Senecio viravira - Argentina
8. Artemisia stelleriana - US and Japan (possibly not native). More commonly referred to as Wormwood or Old Woman.

As you can see, there is only one species with this common name that is possibly native to North America. The most common of these is Senecio cineraria and this may be the one you have. Since we don't know for certain which one you have, we can't really answer your question. However, you can read about the care of several of these at the links above.

 

More Non-Natives Questions

Most invasive, noxious plant in U.S. from New York City.
November 26, 2012 - I was wondering, what is the most invasive/ noxious plant in the U.S? Thanks in advance.
view the full question and answer

Care for non-native 'Glacier Blues' from Charlton MA
March 24, 2012 - Do you have to prune or cut down Glacier Blues in the garden? My plants look brown and wilted.
view the full question and answer

Possible maple scale on non-native mophead hydrangeas from Newport RI
August 07, 2013 - I have a mophead hydrangea that has small white cottony tufts under the leaves and on the stems. I believe this is maple scale. Is there a home remedy I can use to rid this disease?
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

Is non-native Japanese Blueberry tree fruit poisonous to cats and dogs from Houston
August 09, 2010 - Are Japanese Blueberry Tree fruit poisonous? I have dogs and cats and I was concerned if they ate them. I also live in the Houston, TX area.
view the full question and answer

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