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 - October 17, 2013

From: Alpine, CA
Region: California
Topic: Non-Natives, Pests, Poisonous Plants, Trees
Title: Flying insects eating leaves of non-native Brugmansia in Aline CA
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

I have an Angel Trumpet tree. We live in Aline, California 30 miles east of San Diego. Little yellow and black flying bugs eat the leaves. Do you have a remedy for this problem.

ANSWER:

Because this plant is non-native to North America (mostly from the Andes and South America) it is not in our Native Plant Database and therefore out of our range of expertise. Here is an article from the University of Vermont on Bragmansia (and Datura).

Be careful when planting this - all parts of angel's trumpet are poisonous, or at least narcotic in small doses.

Relatives include datura, nightshade, tomatoes, peppers, potatoes and eggplants.

These are also called by the common name 'datura'. However, datura is an annual plant, while brugmansia is a woody plant.

Whiteflies can be a big problem for angel's trumpet. Cabbage worms, spider mites and aphids are also common. Other pests that may appear include cucumber beetles (in the Mid West), slugs and snails, fungus gnats (inside) and mealy bugs.

While we may not know much about non-native plants, we can refer you to some websites with information on whiteflies, spider mites and aphids, as those seem to be the most likely culprits.

 

 

More Trees Questions

Planting fruit and nut trees in Mason County, TX
March 02, 2012 - Dear Mr. Smarty Plants, I have 36 acres 15 miles west of the city of Mason TX. I wish to plant one acre plots of sustainable organic crops that are long term and hardy. (cost and effort not an iss...
view the full question and answer

Young huisache trees dying
October 02, 2015 - We have had several young huisache trees suddenly die. These trees are only three or four years old and were apparently healthy when they just died. They are growing by the curb on a city street and w...
view the full question and answer

Non-native pomegranate failing to fruit from Highland Village TX
October 20, 2012 - Last spring I planted a pomegranate tree (type: Wonderful) which is supposed to produce edible fruit. It had 5 or 6 absolutely beautiful blooms, but each of them dropped off and no sign of fruit. Is...
view the full question and answer

School children planting trees native to Oklahoma and North Texas
December 07, 2009 - Hello, I'll be going into grade school classrooms to teach children how to plant trees. Perhaps they will each plant a seed in a cup to take home to plant in their yard. I may even be able to get see...
view the full question and answer

What's causing holes in trunk of white oak tree in SouthBend IN?
June 10, 2013 - We have a huge White Oak in our backyard that is approx. 130 years old. This evening I became aware that there are several small holes around the trunk that appear to be oozing a dark sappy liquid. ...
view the full question and answer

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