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
1 rating

Saturday - July 09, 2011

From: Starkville, MS
Region: Southeast
Topic: Non-Natives, Propagation
Title: Non-native Moth Mullein as a garden plant from Starksville MS
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

I collected seeds from a beautiful Moth Mullein growing in a lot which will soon be bulldozed. Would I regret sowing them in the back of a sunny perennial bed this fall. These are from the white-pink variety. Thanks

ANSWER:

Well, we would certainly regret it. 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. Verbascum blattaria, moth mullen, is native to Africa, Asia and Central Southern Europe. This article from Illinois Wildflowers has the most comprehensive information on it that we could find. Some of the information we extracted from that includes that it self-seeds freely and you would need to be constantly deadheading the flowers to prevent the seeding. It is considered a seed contaminant; in other words, seeds may be gathered for other plants but the seeds from Moth Mullein may be co-mingled, compromising the usefulness of the original seed. It has attractive flowers and unattractive foliage. Putting it in a garden bed with good soil and plentiful water is just asking for trouble for your other plants.

 

 

More Propagation Questions

Propagation of Cordyline fruticosa from Port St. Lucie FL
July 23, 2010 - Hawaiian Ti Plant, Good Luck Plant, Ti Plant (Cordyline fruticosa) I found 4 of these cut without roots. What is the best way to have them grow roots? Directly in water, moist soil, or regular soil...
view the full question and answer

Reseeding with Gulf cordgrass, Spartina spartinae
May 23, 2007 - Are the seeds of Spartina spartinae sterile? If not, when is the best time to harvest for replanting? We are involved in the restoration of the Bahia Grande section of the Laguna Atascosa National Wi...
view the full question and answer

How can I propagate Magnolia trees? Airlayeringg, semi-hardwood cuttings, and seeds.
July 01, 2008 - Hi. My grandmother recently passed away. One of her most prized possessions was her magnolia tree. She absolutely loved that tree. I, along with other members of the family each want to take a pie...
view the full question and answer

Speeding up growth of Hesperaloe parviflora (red yucca)
January 12, 2012 - I have germinated Hesperaloe parviflora, Red Yucca, for our Caddo Native plant sale. I have kept in the cool greenhouse for 2 months and they are about 2 inches. A friend put one outside and they froz...
view the full question and answer

Reproduction of purple coneflower (Echinacea purpurea)
May 06, 2008 - What is the reproduction of a Purple Coneflower?
view the full question and answer

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