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

Sunday - December 18, 2011

From: Austin, TX
Region: Select Region
Topic: Invasive Plants, Groundcovers, Herbs/Forbs
Title: Destruction of Straggler Daisy in Austin
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

I hate Straggler Daisy. Not to be offensive, but it appears from other posts on this site that you, Mr. Smarty Plants, and many others would like to treat it as a protected species. It is taking over my entire property, disregarding my efforts to eradicate it. I am not a natural gardening purist. I will kill the stuff with whatever works, but I've not found anything that works. I applied a heavy application of Roundup. Afterwards it looked a little whimpy, but then recovered. It went through the inferno of last summer (2011) in Austin, TX, and I never watered it - yet it didn't die along with the rest of my lawn. Now that the weather is cooler and wetter in December 2011 the stuff is making a huge resurgence, absolutely taking over my entire property with an army of little tiny Stragglers. Please tell us what toxic mix is required to kill this stuff, Oh Mister Smarty Plants. Respectfully, Straggler Hater.

ANSWER:

We're not offended, we understand what a pain something invasive can be. We hope you also will not be offended when we point out that you have spent a lot of money and a lot of time, and probably killed a lot of other plants you wanted to keep in your chemical war with Calyptocarpus vialis (Straggler daisy). And the result of this time, money and destruction effort? Lots of Straggler Daisy. Mr. Smarty Plants is not crazy about any poisonous chemical intervention in nature. When it rained last week, any runoff from your yard was probably tainted with the herbicide, and ran off on other plants, and then down through the Edwards Aquifer into our drinking water. Even if we knew of anything more toxic, we wouldn't suggest it. Please follow the plant link to the full page in our database on this plant. It sounds like a plant well suited to our environment, attracts butterflies, consumes carbon dioxide and produces oxygen in photosynthesis, is a nice semi-evergreen ground cover that flowers from March through November, has low water use, and tolerates sun, part shade or shade. We are certainly not advocating making it a protected species-it doesn't seem to need protection. We think the most telling statement you made was that in the heat and drought of Summer 2011 the Calyptocarpus vialis (Straggler daisy) marched on and your grass died.

Remembering that it has been estimated that about 40% of Austin's drinkable water goes onto lawns, we think you have lucked into a bonanza. You could eventually get rid of it by pulling it out and keeping it mowed very low to prevent seed distribution, but there would always be more coming from other places in your area. Our advice: if you can't lick it, join it.

 

From the Image Gallery


Straggler daisy
Calyptocarpus vialis

Straggler daisy
Calyptocarpus vialis

Straggler daisy
Calyptocarpus vialis

More Herbs/Forbs Questions

Wildlife Attracting Plants for a Shady Patio
July 03, 2014 - We have a concrete patio that receives 2-3 hours of sunlight a day, so the only plants we will be able to grow will be in container. We are looking for plants that do well in shade, and containers and...
view the full question and answer

Native sedges for Texas
March 07, 2007 - What can you tell me about Texas Blue Sedge? What its true name and culture requirements?
view the full question and answer

Getting milkweed seeds into seed mixes from Milwaukee WI
February 07, 2014 - My husband and I are concerned about the Monarch butterfly migration and have started an effort to get milkweed planted along some bike trails here in Wisconsin. This made me think of Ladybird Johnso...
view the full question and answer

Native plants both deer resistant and good for erosion from North Oaks MN
August 23, 2012 - We have several partially sunny areas on hills that are prone to both deer and erosion. Our goal is to reduce runoff in an effort to preserve the watershed that provides tap water to many citizens of ...
view the full question and answer

Standing cypress turning brown in San Antonio
June 12, 2011 - Last year I bought and planted a standing cypress. This year several plants came up. The tallest one was about 1 foot tall. After blooming the plant began to turn brown and die. My question: Is t...
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 | STAFF
© 2015 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center