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
1 rating

Saturday - July 09, 2011

From: Starkville, MS
Region: Southeast
Topic: Non-Natives, Propagation
Title: Non-native Moth Mullein as a garden plant from Starksville MS
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

I collected seeds from a beautiful Moth Mullein growing in a lot which will soon be bulldozed. Would I regret sowing them in the back of a sunny perennial bed this fall. These are from the white-pink variety. Thanks

ANSWER:

Well, we would certainly regret it. The Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center is dedicated to the growth, propagation and protection of plants native not only to North America but to the area in which those plants grow natively. Verbascum blattaria, moth mullen, is native to Africa, Asia and Central Southern Europe. This article from Illinois Wildflowers has the most comprehensive information on it that we could find. Some of the information we extracted from that includes that it self-seeds freely and you would need to be constantly deadheading the flowers to prevent the seeding. It is considered a seed contaminant; in other words, seeds may be gathered for other plants but the seeds from Moth Mullein may be co-mingled, compromising the usefulness of the original seed. It has attractive flowers and unattractive foliage. Putting it in a garden bed with good soil and plentiful water is just asking for trouble for your other plants.

 

 

More Non-Natives Questions

Illegal to remove an orange blossom from ground in Florida from Atlantis FL
March 28, 2012 - Is there any law that prevents someone from removing an orange blossom from the ground in Florida?
view the full question and answer

Need help with Wheeler's Dwarf Pittosporum
September 02, 2015 - We have about five Dwarf Wheeler Pittosporum plants. All of them are mature and were doing well. I was on vacation for a week or so and when I came back I saw of each of them is plant 90% dead. The d...
view the full question and answer

Organic means for ridding garden of stinging ants
April 18, 2008 - Dear Mr. Smarty Pants, I have a butterfly garden that is filled with native plants the butterflies LOVE! However I have a colony of red ants that have moved in. I need to trim some of the more inva...
view the full question and answer

Identity of mint impersonator in California
May 20, 2012 - Is there such a thing as a mint "impersonator"? There are random 'sprigs' of purple-stemmed, bright green leaf plants in my front yard. We just moved in to the house and I don't want to assume ...
view the full question and answer

Identification of tree in California
May 02, 2012 - A medium-size tree with shiny green leaves toward the bottom and garnet red ones toward the top of the tree. The leaves are narrow with saw-toothed edges. There are clustered small white flowers with ...
view the full question and answer

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