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 Non-Natives Questions

Does NPIN include non-native plant species?
September 03, 2009 - I'm writing a book on the plants eaten by 12th century Indians of Florida. I'd like to use your site for some of my research. You say all of your plants are native, but then under some listings (wil...
view the full question and answer

Bermuda, not the only option in Memphis
November 04, 2014 - I'm building an energy efficient home in Memphis and want to extend that strategy to the landscaping. I'd like to plant native grasses, but this lot is surrounded by lots sodded with Bermuda grass....
view the full question and answer

Mid-summer watering needs of non-native dwarf Meyer Lemon tree in Austin
March 20, 2011 - I live in Central Texas outside Austin city limits. I've recently purchased a dwarf Meyer lemon tree and planted it in a large pot. It's doing very well. I will be out-of-state from July through ...
view the full question and answer

Transplanting care of Mayten tree (Maytenus sp.)
November 06, 2007 - I planted a Mayten tree 2 years ago. It's about 8 feet tall. The trunk is about 1-1/2 or 2" in diameter. The earth around it sunk and now there is a "bowl" that fills with water in the rain. I...
view the full question and answer

Native replacement for non-native Bermudagrass in Leander TX
October 16, 2011 - We have Bermuda grass. Large patches have died due to the drought and our yard has been taken over by weeds and St. Augustine grass whose seeds must have blown in. Even when the grass was in great con...
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