Contact Us Host an Event 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

Monday - February 23, 2015

From: Lindale, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Invasive Plants, Grasses or Grass-like
Title: How to eliminate Sawgrass from a small lake in Lindale, TX?
Answered by: Jimmy Mills

QUESTION:

We live on a small acre lake (about 65 acres) and the majority of the lake is surrounded by what the locals are calling saw grass. From the description on the website, I believe they are correct. The question is how is the best way to eliminate the saw grass as it appears that it is very slowly en-croaching the lake?

ANSWER:

The plant commonly called saw grass is in the sedge family in the genus Cladium, and there are two species that grow near you in Lindale, Smith County, Texas. Cladium mariscoides (Smooth sawgrass) grows in both Henderson and Anderson Counties, and Cladium mariscus ssp. jamaicense (Jamaica swamp sawgrass) grows in Anderson County. It has been described as the signature plant of the Florida Everglades.

With such a description, you might imagine that it is an aggressive, invasive plant. Attempts at eradication and control include burning, altering the hydroperiod in the habitat, and controlling nutrient levels. The links below discuss experiments  utilizing these methods

   burning

   hydroperiod alteration

   changing nutrients

These are fairly technical, but one take home message seems to be that eliminating the saw grass may leave the lake open to some other invader such as cattails.

I would recommend contacting the folks at the Smith County office of  Texas A&M AgriLife  Extension  for some help closer to home.

 

More Invasive Plants Questions

Killing mesquite (Prosopis glandulosa) with propane torch
January 14, 2010 - Can I kill mesquite with intense fire, such as a 1.2 million BTU propane torch? I know mesquite bounces back from cutting at the soil line. The trees are in Elgin. Thanks
view the full question and answer

Walnut tree root coming through basement floor in Portland, OR
February 10, 2009 - I have a walnut tree root coming through my basement floor. I need advice as to what will it do to tree when I remove the root, like another root though a different part of my home. It is a large tree...
view the full question and answer

Is it OK to plant Huisache in southern California?
June 15, 2009 - We have a wonderful huisache growing on a very dry rocky/dusty slope. It has now sprouted babies and we are delighted because we have room for several more on this slope. I have some room on our front...
view the full question and answer

Native turf grass for Austin
March 24, 2014 - I am installing a xeriscape landscape in my yard. It will be in full sun and I am looking for an alternative to turf, such as monkey grass. However, I am concerned about the light. Suggestions?
view the full question and answer

Non-native invasive henbit from Round Rock TX
April 27, 2013 - I've read in this book "Native Alternatives to Invasive Plants" that Henbit is an invasive plant in Texas. I've also read that it provides an early source of nectar to bees and butterflies when li...
view the full question and answer

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