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

Growing Chile Pequin Indoors
December 09, 2015 - About a year ago I visited your page and as a result I planted 8 seeds in spring 2015 from a large Chile Pequin plant that came up wild in my Cedar Park home near Austin. The last harvest was late su...
view the full question and answer

Propagation of Limonium limbatum
September 04, 2013 - I have a Limonium limbatum but do not know how to propagate the plant. Can you help with this?
view the full question and answer

Propagation of Indian Paintbrush
March 28, 2005 - I have tried for years to propagate Indian Paintbrush and have had no luck-started inside or outside in the fall down't seem to matter. What can I do to get them to grow?
view the full question and answer

Variety of colors in bluebonnet seeds from Houston
November 18, 2013 - Bluebonnet seeds I have collected are a variety of colors, from the sandy/tan color to a grayish color and black color. Are all variations viable? Are they equally viable?
view the full question and answer

Grooming and propagation of Bee Balm
August 28, 2007 - I planted our first Bee Balm [Mornarda didyma] bush a month ago. I`ve watered it daily and it is growing well with many runners apparent. Should I be deheading or pinching regularly? Should I cut it ...
view the full question and answer

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