En Español

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

Wednesday - April 11, 2012

From: Cleburne, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Invasive Plants, Non-Natives, Herbs/Forbs
Title: Ridding property of Dichelostemma Firecracker Plant from Cleburne TX
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

How do we get rid of Dichelostemma-Firecracker plant? It has invaded our yard & we hate it! How do we kill it?

ANSWER:

As you may know, the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center, home of Mr. Smarty Plants, is dedicated to the growth, propagation and protection of plants native not only to North America but to the area in which it grows naturally. We went to our Native Plant Database and found Dichelostemma ida-maia (Firecracker flower). If you follow the plant link to our webpage on this plant you will see that it is grows only in northern California and Oregon. From the Pacific Bulb Society, here is an article on it. From this information, we think that not only would it not be invasive in Johnson County TX, it probably couldn't survive there. We did learn that there were several other species of the genus Dichelostemma, so we looked at some of them. From the above article:

"Dichelostemma is a genus with five species including one with two subspecies distributed throughout the western United States, but concentrated in northern California."

Here are pictures of the various species from Google. If you click on any picture, it will take you to the article from which the picture came. Do any of these look like what is in your yard?

Another plant that has "firecracker plant" in its common name is Russelia equisetiformis, with this article from Floridata explaining that it is native to Mexico and therefore not in our Native Plant Database. Pictures.

Then, there is Cuphea ignea, called firecracker plant or cigar plant, native to Mexico and the West Indies. Here is an article about it from Floridata and more pictures from Google.

We are pretty sure that what you have is either the second or third of these plants that has been introduced,  purchased from a nursery, and has now become invasive in a garden probably fertilized and watered, which they did not get in their native countries. We can't recommend removal techniques without knowing what the plants actually are. Once you determine that from the websites we have linked you to, we suggest you contact the Texas AgriLife Extension Office for Johnson County.  If your plant has been purchased locally and now is invasive in your area, the Extension Office will probably already have information on it and advice on eliminating it.

 

 

From the Image Gallery


Firecracker flower
Dichelostemma ida-maia

More Non-Natives Questions

Rose varieties for Alabama
October 26, 2009 - What climate and soil types will Rosa Rogosa, a plant that grows in MA, require?
view the full question and answer

Sticky stuff dripping from non-native crape myrtle in Austin
August 01, 2012 - There is sticky sap-like stuff dropping from the very large crepe myrtle in my yard. The tree has quit blooming. This didn't happen last year when it was so dry; it started after we had all the rain ...
view the full question and answer

Problems in non- native weeping willow in Spokane WA
June 21, 2010 - My wife and I have a weeping willow tree that has done well for two years. This year some of the branches are loosing their leaves in late spring in Spokane, WA. I though it was from the wind but ha...
view the full question and answer

Pruning non-native Chinese fringe flower from Austin
June 24, 2013 - When is the best time of year to prune Plum Delight? And how severely can it be cut back?
view the full question and answer

Information about non-native Night Blooming Jasmine (Cestrum nocturnum)
June 23, 2009 - Hello, I have been trying to identify a shrub that has been in my backyard for many years, and I happened to come across your website. I was able to identify the plant as Night-Blooming Jasmine, but t...
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