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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.

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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.

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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.

 
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Friday - July 06, 2012

From: SUNRISE, FL
Region: Southeast
Topic: Invasive Plants, Non-Natives, Poisonous Plants, Herbs/Forbs
Title: Dwarf oyster plant dying in Sunrise FL
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

WHAT WOULD BE KILLING MY DWARF OYSTER PLANTS

ANSWER:

From a previous Mr. Smarty Plants answer, here is the scientific name of this plant, Tradescantia spathacea. It will not be in our Native Plant Database because it is native to Mexico, the West Indies and Central America.

Perhaps you should be grateful to whatever it is. (Herbicides sprayed in the neighborhood?) We could find no information on killing Tradescantia spathacea or reviving it, but lots of information on the severe allergic reactions of people and dogs to some toxic substance exuded by it. See this Floridata website on Dwarf Oyster Plant.

Perhaps the best website for you to read is the forum Dave's Garden. Please read the 8 negative comments on the plant.

 

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