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
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 Herbs/Forbs Questions

Green blooms on Cedar Sage in Lucas TX
September 22, 2010 - I have two Cedar Sage (Salvia roemeriana) one purchased from your plant sale and one from a local nursery planted in part shade in the Dallas area. They seem to be quite happy and are blooming but ...
view the full question and answer

Will native Galium aparine be a problem in Austin garden?
March 25, 2014 - Should I be concerned that my yard is overrun with "sticky weed" (Galium aparine) in the early spring? Specifically, about five years ago I undertook converting about half my back yard into a na...
view the full question and answer

Native perennials for Ft. Worth TX
March 17, 2013 - Mr. Smarty Pants, I have two large planters around the back side of my saltwater pool where there is no decking. (sloped landscape) 8'long x 3' wide. I need low growing perennial plants that will ...
view the full question and answer

Replacing St. Augustine with Horse herb in Austin, TX.
December 12, 2012 - I'm considering replacing my St. Augustine grass with a Horseherb/Straggler Daisy ground cover, but I've heard that it provides a mosquito breeding habitat, especially if you allow dead leaves to de...
view the full question and answer

Trimming of Flame acanthus from Bastrop TX
February 17, 2012 - My flame acanthus never lost leaves off the bottom tier of branches this winter. With the brief warm weather and rain we've had, the top and middle tier of branches have all re-leafed. It is very l...
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