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

Monday - April 12, 2010

From: Austin, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Invasive Plants
Title: Problems with pink oxalis in Austin
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

I have a bed of pink oxalis. The leaves are turning rusty and withering. It is spreading. Can you tell me how to remedy this?

ANSWER:

There are 10 members of the genus Oxalis native to North America and 6 to Texas, none of which has the common name "pink oxalis." Oxalis is the largest genus in the wood-sorrel family, and the only Pink Oxalis we could find is Oxalis articulata, pink wood-sorrel, native to South America, particularly Brazil and Argentina. Since the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center is dedicated to the use, protection and propagation of plants native not only to North America but to the area in which they are growing, this plant is out of our expertise. We can tell you that we found sites that called it an "invasive weed," and know it is very difficult to eradicate from where it is unwanted because of its underground tubers. It is cold-tolerant to USDA Hardiness Zone 8b; Austin is Zone 8a. That's close enough and, in view of the hard freezes we had in the Austin area this year, might have been sufficient for you to be seeing freeze damage. In addition, the wood-sorrels ordinarily die back and disappear as warmer weather approaches. If you don't want it in your garden, due to its invasive nature, you might consider getting it out now, while you have the chance. However, the tiniest little bit of the bulbil from which the plant grows will produce more of it. 

Pictures of Oxalis articulata from Google. 

 

More Invasive Plants Questions

Removal of invasive horsetail in Shelby Township, MI
June 19, 2009 - Please help me or direct me to who may be able to help. I have horsetail (Equisetum) invading my Blue Rug Juniper. Please tell me what I can use to get rid of the horsetail (Equisetum) without killi...
view the full question and answer

Is Early May OK for Roguing Bastard Cabbage?
March 28, 2013 - Hi Smarty:) I'm trying to determine the window for seed set for bastard cabbage. I'm hoping to get about 250 volunteers out to remove it but the date is schedule in early May. Judging by the infl...
view the full question and answer

Is a mulberry tree undesirable?
June 27, 2013 - I have a hard time keeping plants alive, so I was happy when a random plant just started growing and thriving about 5 years ago in my yard. My mom (a frequent volunteer at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildf...
view the full question and answer

Eliminating dogbane from transplanted milkweed in Franklin Lakes NJ
May 10, 2010 - We transplanted milkweed from the wild into our garden. Included in the clump of milkweed was dogbane. We weren't aware of how invasive dogbane is. We've has some success in digging it out but we'...
view the full question and answer

Bald cypress causing problems in Spring TX
June 22, 2010 - There is a 50+ ft Bald Cypress growing near my property line. While the tree has grown substantial knees along the driveway and some as far as 35 ft from the tree in my flower beds, I do not see any d...
view the full question and answer

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