Rent Shop Volunteer Join

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

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

When to plant bermudagrass in East Texas
July 17, 2009 - When to plant Bermuda grass in East TX, Center, Nacodoches, Lufkin and Center area?
view the full question and answer

Deer resistant plants for Trinity, TX
March 23, 2013 - I need a list of deer resistant flowers, herbs and plants that would could be planted in Trinity, Texas.
view the full question and answer

Non-native Philadelphus Innocence mock orange from Paris TX
June 20, 2012 - What is the best place in the garden to grow Philadelphus Innocence mock orange in Paris, Tx? Also, how long after transplanting do flowers occur? Any tips appreciated
view the full question and answer

Elaeagnus sudden death in Waxahachie, TX
May 11, 2015 - I live in North Central Texas and have eleagnus planted along my fence in full sun. Last year one dropped all it's leafs and died. The same is happening to one beside it this year. I have sprayed ...
view the full question and answer

Survival of non-native rosemary on sea breeze from Alberta Canada
July 28, 2011 - I read that Rosemary, in some locations, can live on nothing other than the humidity carried by the sea breeze. Is this true?
view the full question and answer

Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.