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 - May 17, 2010

From: Austin, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Invasive Plants
Title: Need to know about the invasiveness of Datura wrightii.
Answered by: Jimmy Mills

QUESTION:

Dear Mr. Smarty Plants, I recently purchased a small Datura wrightii plant for my front garden. I've been researching it, since I know it is quite toxic, and couldn't find a good answer to one question. I saw one or two places online that described D. wrightii as being invasive; but it doesn't specify in what region. Since it seems to be native to this area, I wouldn't think it would be classified as invasive here, but I'm curious as to whether it would be expected to spread heavily in a place like Austin (one super-toxic plant I can take, a yard full of them I'd like to avoid). Thank you!

ANSWER:

The lowly Jimson Weed Datura wrightii (sacred thorn-apple)  has very showy flowers but all parts of the plant are considered toxic. Therefore your concern about its invasiveness is warranted.

As to its invasiveness, I have read posts on the davesgarden.com site that decry the invasive nature of the plant. The people here at the Wildflower Center that I have talked with tend to discount the extent of its invasiveness. In the wild, it can readily invade disturbed areas, but careful management in the garden can prevent its spread.

The plant propagates by seeds, and you can prevent their development by removing the flowers as they fade. This is known as deadheading.


 

 

More Invasive Plants Questions

Conversion of patch of bermuda grass to native perennial garden in Texas
March 20, 2006 - My wife and I want to take a section of our front lawn that is currently in Bermuda grass and plant some native perennials with lots of flowers. The area will be a quarter-circle in a corner of the la...
view the full question and answer

Orange trumpet creeper parasitic to oaks in New York City?
December 17, 2010 - Is the Orange Trumpet Creeper a parasite to oak trees? My concern is that a neighbor with a tall oak has a vine growing up it and I wonder if it could damage or weaken the tree?
view the full question and answer

Removal of non-native invasive Ligustrum japonica from Austin
February 14, 2012 - I bought a house that I am slowly turning into a native garden, but as a teacher, I have a really small budget. One entire border of my backyard (30 feet) was planted with evil Ligustrum japonica. I l...
view the full question and answer

Getting rid of sandburs in horse pasture in Minnesota
March 17, 2009 - How do I get rid of sandburs in my horse pasture?
view the full question and answer

Is Yaupon Invasive in the Austin Area?
March 24, 2011 - Is Yaupon Holly invasive in the Austin area? Should we be removing it from our yards and/or greenbelt spaces? Thanks for your input!
view the full question and answer

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