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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.

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Ask Mr. Smarty Plants is a free service provided by the staff and volunteers at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center.

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Tuesday - May 06, 2008

From: Stafford, VA
Region: Mid-Atlantic
Topic: Non-Natives, Groundcovers, Cacti and Succulents
Title: Information about ice plant (Carpobrotus edulis)
Answered by: Nan Hampton

QUESTION:

I recently planted some Carpobrotus edulis, Ice plant, and wanted to know if I can mulch or put stones around the entire garden and plants. They are a ground cover plant.

ANSWER:

Our focus and expertise at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center is with plants native to North America. Unfortunately, Carpobrotus edulis (ice plant or hottentot fig) is a non-native introduced species and is on the California Invasive Plant Council's Weeds of California list. This South African native spreads rapidly and is an ecological threat in the California's climate. Virginia's climate will not be as welcoming to the ice plant as California's is, but you should take precautions to see that it doesn't spread from your garden areas. Putting mulch around it and stones with it probably won't hurt it, but we would encourage you to consider replacing it with a native groundcover such as Glandularia canadensis (rose mock vervain)


Glandularia canadensis

Glandularia canadensis
 

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