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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 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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Monday - August 02, 2010

From: Soquel, CA
Region: California
Topic: Invasive Plants, Non-Natives, Diseases and Disorders
Title: Why are our Euphorbia myrsinites plants dying in Soquel, CA?
Answered by: Jimmy Mills

QUESTION:

Some of our Euphorbia myrsinites die in our garden for reasons we cannot understand. Do you have any explanation or suggest area we should be looking for?

ANSWER:

You don't give any clues about the conditions where your spurge plants are growing, so this makes your question hard to answer. Some plant problems can be attributed to sun and water; either too much or too little. Then there are insect and fungal problems. For help closer to home, I suggest contacting the Santa Cruz County Office of the University of California Cooperative Extension.

In researching this question I came up with a few facts that I will share with you.

First of all, Euphorbia myrsinites  (Myrtle Spurge) is not native to the US, but is introduced from Europe, and considered to be an invasive species. The mission of the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center is to increase the sustainable use and conservation of native wildflowers, plants and landscapes.

The Colorado Noxious Weed Act makes it unlawful to allow the Myrtle Spurge to produce seed.

It is listed as a noxious weed in Oregon.

And after reading the comments on this link from Dave's Garden, you may be glad that the plant is dying.

 

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