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

Getting rid of giant ragweed in Austin
October 25, 2008 - How can I get rid of a large field of giant ragweed? Part of the site is a steep slope, which is difficult to mow. I want to encourage native grasses but they are crowded out by the ragweed.
view the full question and answer

Non-native purple lantana
January 05, 2008 - I have found some purple trailing lantana on our land. (This land has never been inhabited, as far as I know of.) This is not one of the yellow/pink or yellow/red native varieties. Is this indeed a...
view the full question and answer

Smarty Plants on fungal attack
October 12, 2005 - I have three plants that have been getting fungus on their soil and I've tried to get rid of it by scraping it off, watering it less and more sunlight. It's two coleus and a begonia. I don't know...
view the full question and answer

Native plant to replace invasive non-native nandina in Houston
February 28, 2010 - I'm just now finding out that Nandinas are an invasive species from our local chapter of the Native Plant Society of Texas. I have three of them in my front yard and want to replace them. Can you sug...
view the full question and answer

Organic means for ridding garden of stinging ants
April 18, 2008 - Dear Mr. Smarty Pants, I have a butterfly garden that is filled with native plants the butterflies LOVE! However I have a colony of red ants that have moved in. I need to trim some of the more inva...
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
© 2014 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center