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

Tuesday - February 07, 2006

From: Delta, CO
Region: Rocky Mountain
Topic: Non-Natives
Title: Many different species called
Answered by: Joe Marcus and Nan Hampton

QUESTION:

I know from researching that Dusty Miller is drought tolerant. But, I tend to water too much when I do get irrigation water. Will it stand this? (clay soil, near a very young globe willow, southern exposure, hot summers,wind,)

ANSWER:

Dusty Miller is often cited as an example of the problem associated with using common names. Here's a list of species with the common name of Dusty Miller and their nativity:

1. Senecio cineraria - Mediterranean
2. Lychnis coronaria - Mediterranean
3. Chrysanthemum ptarmiciflorum - Canary Islands
4. Centaurea cineraria - Mexico
5. Centaurea gymnocarpa - Capraia, Italy (endemic)
6. Centaurea ragusiana - Adriatic
7. Senecio viravira - Argentina
8. Artemisia stelleriana - US and Japan (possibly not native). More commonly referred to as Wormwood or Old Woman.

As you can see, there is only one species with this common name that is possibly native to North America. The most common of these is Senecio cineraria and this may be the one you have. Since we don't know for certain which one you have, we can't really answer your question. However, you can read about the care of several of these at the links above.

 

More Non-Natives Questions

Wintering non-native liriope spicata indoors in Chillicothe IL
November 08, 2013 - I live in zone 5, zip 62523, wintering liriope spicata starter plants in basement, ambient consistent. Do I need grow lamps or is the plant satisfied being dormant as long as I do not let it dry out? ...
view the full question and answer

Comparison of native and non-native bulbs from Fayetteville NC
November 28, 2010 - I am just a gardener seeking natives. As I could not find Crinum americanum bulbs/plants specifically, I checked further online. Here's an excerpt of what I found from the Louisiana Native Plant Soci...
view the full question and answer

Question about non-native false aralia (Schefflera elegantissima)
September 02, 2009 - Hi. I have a False Aralia-8 stalks. Have had for a while and recently it has begun (and for the first time) dropping leaves. The stalks are getting pretty barren. I know the genreal care for the...
view the full question and answer

Care of Rio Grande Wild Petunia
July 17, 2007 - I have bought the Rio Grande Wild Petunia, Ruellia davisiorum. How should I look after it?
view the full question and answer

Color in non-native portulaca from Beach Haven NJ
July 21, 2011 - I bought a portulaca in a hanging basket and divided it up and planted it in my garden. It is doing ok..but I have almost entirely orange flowers..maybe two reds. I was hoping for multi-colored..red...
view the full question and answer

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