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

Tuesday - April 22, 2003

From: Austin, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: General Botany, Invasive Plants
Title: Definition of a weed
Answered by: Stephen Brueggerhoff

QUESTION:

What is your definition of a weed?

ANSWER:

My definition of a weed encompasses the natural distribution range of a particular plant, as well as growth habit. Generally, a plant is determined "weedy" if it has a habit of creating a monoculture and effectively removing or reducing populations of naturally occurring flora. Weeds can be either native or non-native plants. Native plants are plants that naturally occur in a given location without accidental or intentional introduction by humans. Plants that are native to other places and have been introduced to locations out of their natural range are called exotics. These plants, in turn, are then declared invasive when they exhibit characteristics described above. Additionally, native plants that are introduced/grow out of their naturally distributed range, can become invasive as well.

 

More Invasive Plants Questions

Removal of Invasive Mint
April 23, 2011 - The herb Mint is taking over my flower garden. How can I kill this out? Thank you,
view the full question and answer

Landscaping a new yard in El Paso, TX
July 01, 2010 - I am starting my back yard, we want to plant some sod grass and shade trees. We were doing some research and came across the Paulownia and the Royal Empress tree. I like them since they grow very fast...
view the full question and answer

What to do about bastard cabbage in the Austin area?
May 08, 2015 - I am noticing bastard cabbage taking over roadsides and medians at an alarming rate where a mixture of native flowers used to bloom. Is it allowable to organize efforts to pull the invasive plants ou...
view the full question and answer

Controlling seeding of non- native, invasive Paulownia from Fayetteville TN
August 17, 2012 - My husband planted a Paulownia tree against my advice about eight years ago. This summer it has huge seed pods. How do I keep the seeds from invading the wooded area of our property?
view the full question and answer

Understory planting in Virginia
July 03, 2009 - We have some 10 mature tulip and sycamore trees in our No. VA property. The previous home owners were fond of English Ivy and Japanese pachysandra. We are working hard at replacing these invasives to ...
view the full question and answer

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