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 - March 27, 2014

From: Fort Worth, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Invasive Plants, Non-Natives
Title: Why is Common Horehound missing from NPIN?
Answered by: Joe Marcus

QUESTION:

Hi there, I am not able to find Marrubium vulgare, i.e. Common or White Horehound, in the Native Plant Database. It grows abundantly on our ranch in Central Texas, and I am attempting to grow it in my yard in Fort Worth.

ANSWER:

Be careful what you wish for!

Marrubium vulgare is not listed in the NPIN Native Plant Database because it's not a North American native species.  It's native to northern Africa and Eurasia.  However, it has made itself quite at home in North America where it's an aggressive colonizer of livestock lots (domesticated livestock will not eat it) and associated areas.  It has also escaped from agricultural lands and can be found in great abundance in some wild areas all across North America.  Surprisingly, Horehound has not yet made its way onto any state's or the federal government's noxious weed list.  It's just a matter of time.

As for growing it in the garden, you will probably find it a bit too aggressive for your taste and once established, it's all but impossible to eradicate.  Moreover, your neighbors might not be very happy with you for introducing a plague into their gardens.  But whether or not to plant it in your garden is for you to decide.

 

More Invasive Plants Questions

Native plants for shade in Ennis TX
August 26, 2011 - My house faces south. The southwest side of the front yard has a Pride of Houston, Japanese Barberry, 2 crape myrtles and some dwarf yaupon hollies. The other section, divided by a stairway to the p...
view the full question and answer

Definition of a weed
April 22, 2003 - What is your definition of a weed?
view the full question and answer

Non-native, invasive rescue grass in meadow garden in Smithville TX
September 20, 2012 - Despite numerous efforts, a solid field of cool weather rescue grass keeps desired wildflower and grass seeds from successfully growing on my "vacant" lot in town. I plan to I put out a 6 ml plasti...
view the full question and answer

Are These Plants Natives for Flower Mound, Texas?
September 24, 2010 - We are having our flower beds reworked and these are the plants that the company is recommending to plant. I would like to know if these plants are native to our area:pink muhly grass, lythrum, lorope...
view the full question and answer

Non-native, invasive creeping fig in Webster TX
May 26, 2013 - We've recently moved into a new home in the southeast Houston area. The back of our property has a long concrete wall (gets quite a bit of sun), which we thought we could cover with a spreading vine....
view the full question and answer

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