En EspaŅol
Share

Ask Mr. Smarty Plants

Mr. Smarty Plants - Ridding property of Dichelostemma Firecracker Plant from Cleburne TX

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
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 Invasive Plants Questions

Controlling invasives and using natives in New Hampshire
October 09, 2007 - What ideas would you have for marrying the subjects of native plants and invasives? This summer I volunteered to work with our town planner and recycling director on a new initiative called SNIP-IT!: ...
view the full question and answer

Vine Choices Scarce in Beaverton Oregon
June 08, 2012 - Hi, I am looking for a hearty vine that we could use to cling to and cover a cement wall that is about 8 feet tall and 30 feet long. It is on the south side of our house but never gets direct sunli...
view the full question and answer

Landscaping in the Southern California desert.
October 16, 2007 - We are located in southern California in Lake Havasu. I'm trying to landscape sloping areas. I have arrow weeds (Pluchea sericea) and want to get rid of them permanently. How can I achieve this or...
view the full question and answer

Ivy a suitable ground cover in Live Oaks from Gulfport MS
April 17, 2014 - Will Ivy be a safe and suitable ground cover for old growth Live Oak trees in coastal Mississippi?
view the full question and answer

Possibility of consuming Rapistrum rugosum
April 21, 2007 - Reference: "Bastard Cabbage" (Rapistrum rugosum) Garden section of Austin American-Statesman (April 7, 2007) speaks of this weed. As a child, my parents used to pick, cook and eat this weed at the ...
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
© 2014 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center