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

Wednesday - March 18, 2009

From: Dothan, AL
Region: Southeast
Topic: Invasive Plants, Problem Plants
Title: Elimination of Whitemouth dayflower in Dothan AL
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

I am infested with Widow's Tears in my yard. I would like to get rid of them. Can you tell me how?

ANSWER:

While all the references we saw said this was a lovely little flower nice for naturalizing in masses with early spring bloom, the same references admitted it could be invasive, which you already know. Unfortunately, we have no unique new ideas on how to get rid of Commelina erecta (whitemouth dayflower). It is mostly still a matter of pulling it out. Compounding the problem is that it has tubers in its root system, which makes it more difficult to eliminate the plant. And it's hard to get hold of, because, in spite of its name, it grows upright only if supported by other plants. Some sources said a hard freeze would kill the plant, but you're not likely to have a freeze that severe in Alabama. Also, in moderate climates like yours, what is usually an annual plant becomes a perennial. See this website Garden Bits Spiderwort to get another perspective.


Commelina erecta

Commelina erecta

Commelina erecta

Commelina erecta

 

 


 

More Problem Plants Questions

Are there prescribed burn professionals in central Texas?
July 12, 2012 - I am looking for someone to hire for a controlled hillside burn. Can you recommend someone to hire?
view the full question and answer

Possible allelopathic properties of Prosopis glandulosa (Honey mesquite)
October 02, 2015 - I want to plant a coral honeysuckle at the base of a mesquite tree. Anything in the mesquite that would inhibit the honeysuckle from growing?
view the full question and answer

Eliminating unwanted vine on arbor in San Francisco
November 20, 2012 - There is a vine growing on our arbor, it has sickle-shaped pods and is crushing the arbor, how do we get rid of it?
view the full question and answer

Live oaks lifting up sidewalks in Palm Coast FL
December 12, 2013 - My live oak trees roots are lifting up my side walks. Can I cut just the roots that are causing the problem without hurting the trees? Thank you.
view the full question and answer

Update on controlling live oak suckers with newspapers, cardboard and mulch
September 12, 2014 - Can we get an update on the march 2011 topic of live oak suckers? I am wondering if the newspaper/cardboard/mulch layers continued to take care of the problem. Thanks!
view the full question and answer

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