Host an Event Volunteer Join Tickets

Support the plant database you love!

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

Information about invasive Paulownia tree
September 22, 2008 - What genus and species and family is this Royal Paulownia tree I hear about? Is it Elm? Linden? Dogwood? Is it a weed? thank you
view the full question and answer

Passionflower Vine for Boulder
March 02, 2013 - I would love to have a passionflower vine growing up an arbor. I have read comments online that indicate: 1. I can grow some types of passionflowers in Colorado. 2. The plants can become very invasiv...
view the full question and answer

Top soil dressing for bermudagrass
February 25, 2009 - Need to apply top soil dressing to bermudagrass. Can you suggest any type? This area is heavy clay soil and need to even out the lawn as well as feed the grass.
view the full question and answer

Groundcovers to choke out invasive species in Virginia
June 08, 2015 - My yard has open woods and dappled light with clay soil. Thirty years ago we removed huge briars and since English Ivy was getting in by itself, we thought we would let it come; unfortunately, it not ...
view the full question and answer

Non-native invasive carrot wood tree losing leaves in Alpine CA
April 22, 2014 - My carrot wood tree is losing all of its leaves. The tree is about 15foot high & 13 years old. Could it be gophers? The tree was trimmed 1 year ago.
view the full question and answer

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