En EspaŅol

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
Can't find the answer in our existing FAQs, submit a question to Mr. Smarty Plants.
Need help with plant identification, visit the plant identification page.
 
rate this answer
Not Yet Rated

Wednesday - May 11, 2011

From: Oswego, NY
Region: Northeast
Topic: Non-Natives
Title: Getting rid of non-native lesser celandine in Oswego NY
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

Help! We have lesser celandine on approx. an acre of our property right on Lake Ontario, it's in my gardens and in our yard, and in the woods, I have dug it out of my gardens, but I'm not able to get it all. Can you help with some kind of weed killer?

ANSWER:

Ficaria verna, Fig Buttercup, also known as lesser celandine is native to Europe, North Africa, Western Asia, the Caucasus and Siberia and therefore falls out of our area of expertise. The Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center is dedicated to the growth, propagation and protection of plants native not only to North America but to the areas in which those plants grow natively. However, we are always interested in trying to help gardeners deal with invasive plants, whether they are native or non-native.

The Plant Conservation Alliance's Alien Plant Working Group LEAST WANTED website has a full article on Fig Buttercup. It recommends not only appropriate control measures but when to use them. Apparently, because this plant blooms in winter, some sprays can be used on it before the wildflowers emerge. Please read the instructions on any product you buy and follow them carefully. Of course, this plant is all the more difficult because of the rhizomes that spread underground. Your method of digging out those rhizomes is effective, but labor intensive. It would appear, from reading this article, that the time of year for the spray is now past, and needs to be done in the Winter. For the time being, a delaying action controlling the plants in your garden is probably all you can do, and then you can be prepared to really attack them in the Winter.

Remember, the best way to control an invasive plant is to never plant it. We realize you probably didn't plant it, but someone probably saw it in bloom, said "Oh, how cute," purchased it, planted it and possibly moved on, leaving a difficult problem behind them.

 

More Non-Natives Questions

Non-native Japanese maple seedling in Rotterdam NY
August 09, 2010 - In the first couple days of August, I discovered a baby Japanese Maple growing against the wall of my storage shed, a short distance from a neighbor's full grown Japanese Maple. I transplanted this 5...
view the full question and answer

Problems with non-native cuphea in Pearland TX
November 09, 2009 - I have about 8 Bat Face Cupheas and I am having trouble with them. First, instead of mounding 360 degrees, the branches all grow forward (they do bloom well). They're in full sun, about 3 feet out fr...
view the full question and answer

Problems with non-native Cleyera in Georgia
September 30, 2008 - Dear Mr. Smarty Plants, I had a landscaper plant 4 Cleyera around my front porch. I have had them for about 9 years now and they are very hardy, each one being about 4 feet in width, 5 feet high ...
view the full question and answer

Wintering non-native liriope spicata indoors in Chillicothe IL
November 08, 2013 - I live in zone 5, zip 62523, wintering liriope spicata starter plants in basement, ambient consistent. Do I need grow lamps or is the plant satisfied being dormant as long as I do not let it dry out? ...
view the full question and answer

When will non-native Confederate Jasmine bloom in Austin
March 03, 2014 - I have 2 large Confederate Jasmine plants growing in 3 gallon pots on either side of an arbor I built for my friends wedding. The wedding is in 1 month and I'm wondering if this jasmine typically bl...
view the full question and answer

Smarty Plants's Facebook profile Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.

Mr. Smarty Plants wants you to be his Facebook friend. Click the Facebook icon to add yourself to Mr. Smarty Plants list of friends.
E-NEWSLETTER | BECOME A MEMBER | DONATE NOW | MEDIA | SITEMAP | STAFF
© 2015 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center