Host an Event Volunteer Join Tickets

Support the plant database you love!

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 - July 07, 2016

From: Pace, FL
Region: Southeast
Topic: Herbs/Forbs
Title: Will Echinacea outgrow Spanish Needle?
Answered by: Anne Van Nest

QUESTION:

I'd like to plant some Echinacea in an area where Spanish Needle has been growing. I've pulled up the old plants, but I know there's seed there, actually everywhere in my yard! Is there any variety of Echinacea that is stronger that Spanish Needle? I'll pull up the Spanish needle as often as I can, but would like to think that given time, the Echinacea will win out. Thanks for any help!

ANSWER:

Sorry for the delay in replying to your question. You might have an ongoing challenge with the Spanish Needle. You may need to do some extra work so that Echinacea will outgrow Spanish Needle (Bidens alba) - even though the coneflowers are a pretty tough plant. Keep pulling out the Spanish Needle, plant the Echinacea very close together, or put down heavy landscape fabric to stop the seeds from germinating might help tip the scales in favor of the Echinacea.

I am assuming that Bidens alba is the Spanish needle that you are battling. But if it is really Spanish Bayonet or Spanish dagger (Yucca aloifolia or Yucca faxoniana) then the challenge is increased.

 

 

From the Image Gallery


Black samson
Echinacea angustifolia

Black samson
Echinacea angustifolia

Yellow coneflower
Echinacea paradoxa

Eastern purple coneflower
Echinacea purpurea

Eastern purple coneflower
Echinacea purpurea

Eastern purple coneflower
Echinacea purpurea

Tennessee purple coneflower
Echinacea tennesseensis

Common beggarticks
Bidens alba

Spanish dagger
Yucca aloifolia

More Herbs/Forbs Questions

Soil Loosener/Pollinator Plants for Houston
August 11, 2014 - I am trying to establish a mostly-native pollinator way-station in a recently purchased lot in a 100 year old neighborhood in Houston. Much of the property has a thick layer of oyster shell four to si...
view the full question and answer

Flowering ofPluchea odorata in Houston, TX
August 13, 2014 - I sprouted Pluchea odorata seeds this spring, but the plants seem too small to bloom this year. Although your website characterizes this plant as an annual, do you think it will survive the Houston wi...
view the full question and answer

Shasta Daisies without Petals
August 21, 2014 - My shasta daisies do not have the white petals, only the yellow center is in bloom. There are no visible signs of insects. They get a good amount of sun - about 5 hours per day. What could be the prob...
view the full question and answer

Is Asclepias purpurascens a Texas native?
April 23, 2013 - Is the Asclepias purpurascens a Texas native plant? If so where does it grow?
view the full question and answer

Trimming native salvias in January
January 17, 2008 - I have heard you can trim Hot Lips, Raspberry and other salvias back severely in January, to about six inches from the ground. Is this correct?
view the full question and answer

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