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

Sunday - May 22, 2011

From: Wichita , KS
Region: Midwest
Topic: Invasive Plants
Title: Skunk cabbage to repel rabbits in Wichita KS
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

I would like to find a skunk cabbage plant or oil of skunk cabbage to drive away rabbits from my garden.. It does work for several yrs ago I purchased a plant from a garden shop but can not find it now!! Thanks so much for your help.

ANSWER:

Are you sure? For all we know, Symplocarpus foetidus (Skunk cabbage) is an attractive smell to rabbits. Some time ago, we received a question from Houston TX regarding purchasing the plant in their area:

"QUESTION:

Can you find skunk cabbage in the Houston, Texas area?

ANSWER:

No, but why should you want to? Symplocarpus foetidus (skunk cabbage) is native to northeastern states, and wouldn't grow in such a lush, warm climate as Houston.

There have been two previous anwers to questions on this:

May 19, 2009

April 15, 2006"

As you can see from this USDA Plant Profile Map, this plant does not grow natively to Kansas, and we can't think why any nursery would carry such a smelly, invasive plant. Personally, we go out into our garden for the sweet fragrance of our flowers, not something that smells like rotted meat to attract flies. If it grew natively to your area, you would probably be writing to us trying to find out how to get rid of it, as it is invasive and almost impossible to control in its moist natural habitat, in the Northeastern United States.

 

 

More Invasive Plants Questions

How to combat weeds growing in mulch
September 12, 2008 - Trying to decide on either ground cover plants, or some type of gravel. We have a new house where the builder has planted small shrubs in the full sun flower bed next to house. The bed has mulch at th...
view the full question and answer

Problems with pink oxalis in Austin
April 12, 2010 - I have a bed of pink oxalis. The leaves are turning rusty and withering. It is spreading. Can you tell me how to remedy this?
view the full question and answer

Is non-native cotoneaster poisonous to goats from Eureka CA
August 19, 2011 - I have heard that cotoneaster is poisonous to goats and other animals. We are trying to get rid of it in our yard, but I was hoping we could use goats to eat it back. What are our options in removin...
view the full question and answer

Prairie remnant threatened by non-native Queen Anne's lace in Dallas
June 09, 2010 - A blackland prairie remnant is being invaded by Queen Ann's Lace. What are the best, least chemical, methods of getting rid of it without damaging the native grasses and wildflowers? Thank you!
view the full question and answer

Soapberry suckers in Austin
July 23, 2011 - Western Soapberry. Cut it down many months ago. Now I have baby trees all over the lawn. Are these the berries or are they coming from roots even though some sprouts are quite a distance away. I pul...
view the full question and answer

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