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

Thursday - June 20, 2013

From: Bethlehem, PA
Region: Mid-Atlantic
Topic: Invasive Plants, Non-Natives, Herbs/Forbs
Title: Forget-me-nots choking a spring in Bethlehem PA
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

Hi Mr. Smarty Plants, I am restoring a native plant area along a spring that feeds directly into our local creek. Right now the spring is becoming choked with forget-me-nots, that I am trying to pull up. I realize that the forget-me-nots will just grow right back if I don't plant something else to keep them away. Do you have any advice for native plants to put along the spring to help stop the forget-me-not invasion? Thanks!

ANSWER:

First of all, may we inquire what you are doing with either Eritrichium nanum (Alpine forget-me-not) or Eritrichium nanum var. elongatum (Arctic alpine forget-me-not) growing in Pennsylvania? Looking at the USDA Plant Profile Map of Eritrichium nanum (Alpine forget-me-not) shows it grows natively only in western states and is the state flower of Alaska, a long way from Pennsylvania. Ditto Eritrichium nanum var. elongatum (Arctic alpine forget-me-not), except it doesn't grow in Alaska.

We think this is the usual confusion of a common name for two different plants. From Invasive Plants of Wisconsin, here is information on Myosotis sylvatica, (wood forget me not), which is a species of flowering plant in the family Boraginaceae, native to Europe. That article also mentions Myosotis scorpiodes, which is common in decidedly wet areas, and may well be what is clogging your spring. This means we will have no information on it in our Native Plant Database, but there is some mention of controlling it in the Invasive Plants of Wisconsin website. Since you certainly don't want to add any herbicides to your creek, you will probably just have to keep pulling it out. If it is well-established it is unlikely that you would be successful planting another plant on top of it in hopes of crowding it out.

 

From the Image Gallery


Arctic alpine forget-me-not
Eritrichium nanum var. elongatum

Arctic alpine forget-me-not
Eritrichium nanum var. elongatum

Arctic alpine forget-me-not
Eritrichium nanum var. elongatum

More Herbs/Forbs Questions

What flowers will ducks and swans not eat?
January 11, 2009 - I live by ducks and swans. They love eating my flowers. Any suggestions on what flowering plants they won't eat?
view the full question and answer

Source for chile pequin plants in Austin
June 11, 2013 - Where can I buy chile pequin plants in Austin? Thank you,
view the full question and answer

Planting Suggestions for a Lake Home in Wayne County, MO
April 03, 2014 - We have a lake home in Wayne County, MO at Lake Wappapello. The soil is very rocky. We recently cleared an area around our home of assorted dead trees, some cedars and what seemed like tons of vines. ...
view the full question and answer

Shade tolerant Wildflowers for Oklahoma City
April 16, 2012 - I live in Oklahoma City. I'm not in town very often, and am seeking low maintenance plants. I have MANY trees in my backyard, which makes it quite shady. I have raised beds amongst my rock garden ...
view the full question and answer

Purchase of Galphimia angustifolia from Austin
June 08, 2014 - I have a Thryallis, Galphimia augustifolia, or Thryallis autustifolia, growing from a limestone ledge in my yard in west Austin TX. I have tried unsuccessfully to buy this native. Do you sell it at 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