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

Wednesday - January 24, 2007

From: Beaumont, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Non-Natives
Title: Identification of Sphaegneticola trilobata as non-native invasive plant
Answered by: Joe Marcus

QUESTION:

Hello Mr. Smarty Plants, I have some wedelia growing but would like clarification on the type whether it is the texana or trilobata. Is the texana a bushy plant? Mine is more of the sprawling/trailing type. It easily roots itself just being on the ground. Also would Indian paintbrush survive in a urban setting? I have some Bluebonnets growing but would like to grow the paintbrush, too. Thanks so much.

ANSWER:

Wedelia texana is a spreading, low-growing shrub, but not a creeping plant. You may very well have Sphagneticola trilobata (formerly Wedelia trilobata), commonly known as Wedelia, Creeping Ox-eye or Yellow-dots. It is a native of South America and has been widely planted as an ornamental groundcover in more tropical parts of the US. Unfortunately, it often becomes an aggressive nuisance in the landscape. If you do have this non-native species in your garden, you might consider removing it before it gets out of control as it has in many area where it was planted.

Castilleja indivisa is the only species of Indian Paintbrush native to your area (Beaumont Texas). It will grow in your garden if the conditions are right for its culture. Castilleja species are hemiparasitic plants. That is, they derive part of their food from other plants - particularly grasses - through parasitic root connections. Therefore, it is a good idea to plant your Indian Paintbrush seeds near and amongst grasses. Wildflower meadows are generally the ideal environment for this species.

 

More Non-Natives Questions

Non-blooming crape myrtle in Italy, TX
June 25, 2008 - It's Italy, TX, again! Thanks for the advice and links, and I'll study those..but here's where I'm stumped on crape myrtle. I have two (almost) trees because they've been planted over 15 years ...
view the full question and answer

Pruning pink skullcap and rock daisy from Austin
February 06, 2013 - I have some pink skullcap and rock daisy and other plants in my yard that never entirely die back over the winter. Can you tell me what kind of pruning is appropriate? How far can/should I cut them ...
view the full question and answer

Problem with non-native bower vine (Pandorea jasminoides)
September 27, 2011 - I live in Temecula, CA I have grown pink bower vines before with great success. I recently purchased 2 bower vines and planted them on each side of a trellis in full sun. They flower but do not grow...
view the full question and answer

Leaves on non-native Chinese pistashe tree yellowing in San Antonio TX
August 11, 2010 - My chinese pistashe tree leaves are turning yellow. The tree is about 25 years old. the last time it did this I applied some iron granules into the ground around it. However I have forgotten how mu...
view the full question and answer

Looking for an apple tree to plant in Austin, TX.
December 08, 2010 - I want to plant an apple tree in my yard that bears fruit and will provide habitat and shade. Are any varieties that will do well in the South Austin area? And do I have to plant two trees to get fru...
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