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

Saturday - April 27, 2013

From: Round Rock, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Invasive Plants, Non-Natives, Edible Plants, Herbs/Forbs
Title: Non-native invasive henbit from Round Rock TX
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

I've read in this book "Native Alternatives to Invasive Plants" that Henbit is an invasive plant in Texas. I've also read that it provides an early source of nectar to bees and butterflies when little else is blooming. What to do about the Henbit in our large backyard? It's mostly tall grasses, some buffalo grasses, some weed grasses, some wildflowers I am trying to establish. We have straggler daisy in the front yard. This is not an urgent question, whenever you get a chance I appreciate your time, thank you very much.

ANSWER:

According to this article from Invasives.org,  Lamium amplexicaule (Henbit) is, indeed an invasive weed in Texas. Of course, it is a member of the mint family, all of which are considered pushy to downright invasive, so you could always eat it. From Eat the Weeds Henbit: The Top of the Pecking Order.  However, it is also not native to North America, but to Europe, western Asia and northern Africa, so it would not appear in our Native Plant Database, and is out of our scope.

According to this USDA Plant Profile Map, henbit does grow in Travis and Williamson counties. If you consider it an advantage to wildlife and it is not crowding anything else out of your garden, there seems to be no reason to try to eliminate it.

 

More Herbs/Forbs Questions

Plants for a Shaded Slope in Philadelphia
April 17, 2015 - I have a small slope along the North side of my house in a suburb of Philadelphia. A small maple tree grows there but most of it gets no sun at all (a large segment is under the tree). I had the soil ...
view the full question and answer

Plants that smell like chocolate from Coral Gables FL
July 12, 2012 - I am looking for plants that smell like chocolate. I live in south Florida. We are currently growing and testing Berlandiera lyrata. Do you know of other plants whose flowers smell like chocolate?
view the full question and answer

Is there a purple passion hibiscus?
May 27, 2009 - Hello! I bought a climbing vine in a hanging basket that looks like a passion flower vine to me. However, I was told that it was a "purple passion hibiscus." I cannot find such a flower on the inter...
view the full question and answer

Penstemon digitalis not blooming in Hebron, NE.
May 22, 2010 - My Beardtongue plants are too close together. Can I transplant my Penstemon digitalis now, even though the plant is approx. 20" tall? It is not blooming.
view the full question and answer

Dying blackeyed Susans in new garden in Pennsylvania
August 26, 2008 - Hi Mr. Smarty Plants! I have recently planted black eyed susans in a newly dug garden along with some cone flowers. The other flowers are doing fine but the black eyed susans have all dried up and are...
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 | JOBS | SITEMAP | STAFF INTRANET
© 2016 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center