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
1 rating

Saturday - May 28, 2011

From: Austin, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Non-Natives
Title: Milkweed and non-native goatweed in Austin
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

Which parks or fields can we find many milkweed and goatweed in Austin, TX? I live in Austin, TX 78757.

ANSWER:

That depends. Did you want to look at them, photograph them or dig them up? Digging up native plants is pretty restricted-they may be on private land, or in a private garden, or in a park or botanical garden, like the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center. Any of the custodians of those places would frown on having plants removed, and it is absolutely forbidden at the Wildflower Center.

Epimedium, goatweed, is a genus of about 60 plants endemic to China, so we are hoping you CANNOT find them in the Austin area. 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 area in which those plants grow natively.

If you are interested in attracting butterflies or providing larval hosts for them, you can follow the plant links below and find out which species of Asclepias, milkweed, attract which butterflies and/or bees. For that purpose, to plant them in your own garden, we suggest you wait until Fall to purchase starter plants or seeds and follow the Propagation Instructions on the webpages for each plant.

If you were thinking of some herbal or medicinal use for the milkweeds, please read this:

Warning: All plants in the genus Asclepias are probably somewhat toxic, some fatally so, to both humans and animals. The sap of some causes skin irritation in humans. Sensitivity to a toxin varies with a person’s age, weight, physical condition, and individual susceptibility. Children are most vulnerable because of their curiosity and small size. Toxicity can vary in a plant according to season, the plant’s different parts, and its stage of growth; and plants can absorb toxic substances, such as herbicides, pesticides, and pollutants from the water, air, and soil.

Our Native Plant Database lists 48 species of the genus Asclepias, milkweed, of which 35 are native to Texas, and 4 to the Central Texas area. These are:

Asclepias asperula (Spider milkweed)

Asclepias tuberosa (Butterflyweed)

Asclepias viridiflora (Green milkweed)

Asclepias viridis (Green antelopehorn)

 

From the Image Gallery


Antelope horns
Asclepias asperula

Butterflyweed
Asclepias tuberosa

Green milkweed
Asclepias viridiflora

Green antelopehorn
Asclepias viridis

More Non-Natives Questions

Eliminating non-native Asian Jasmine in Austin
December 02, 2010 - I have a large bed in front of the house full of jasmine that was planted by the builder 25 years ago. What suggestions do you have to eliminate it and prepare the bed to plant native flowers and pl...
view the full question and answer

Dying foliage on non-native Otto Luyken Laurel from Georgetown KY
April 09, 2014 - I have 5 luken laurel scrubs planted around foundation. They have done very well until this last winter..the foilage is now brown and crispy. Will they come back? Do I need to prune back the damage...
view the full question and answer

Non-native Lorapetalum chinense from Driftwood TX
March 16, 2012 - In a previous response you said that it would not be wise to plant any trees with the word Chinese in it. Does this apply to Lorapetalum (Chinese Fringe Flower)? I would like to use this plant as a ...
view the full question and answer

Is my Crimson queen maple dying?
October 20, 2015 - Is my Crimson queen maple dying if it's leaves are turning brown?
view the full question and answer

Acre-scale Grass Removal near Austin, TX
July 04, 2014 - How do I get rid of 10 acres of Kleingrass?
view the full question and answer

Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.
E-NEWSLETTER | BECOME A MEMBER | DONATE NOW | MEDIA | SITEMAP | STAFF
© 2016 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center