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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.

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Ask Mr. Smarty Plants is a free service provided by the staff and volunteers at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center.

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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!

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Friday - January 27, 2012

From: Woodcreek, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Invasive Plants, Non-Natives, Plant Identification, Herbs/Forbs
Title: Plant ID from Woodcreek TX
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

I would like to attach a photo of a weed in my lawn and have you identify it. How do I send a photo? I have been told it may be ground ivy. Please tell me how to kill it without damaging the lawn.

ANSWER:

Mr. Smarty Plants is unable to accept pictures. Go to our Plant Identification Page for some sites that do accept pictures.

We searched on "ground ivy," and found information in the Invasive.org website. There are pictures and identification information at that site. There is also a map of the United States showing that the plant may very well be growing in Hays Co. The plant is native to Eurasia and therefore out of the realm of expertise of the Wildflower Center and Mr. Smarty Plants, which centers on plants native not only to North America but to the area in which they grow naturally.

This plant is considered invasive, and spreads by underground rhizomes, which means that spraying herbicide on it will kill everything around it, while the rhizomes protect the ground ivy. Frankly, manual removal is the safest method but, again, the rhizomes will provide opportunity for the plant to resprout. We did note that this plant occurs in moist, disturbed areas. Whether it would help to correct drainage to eliminate moist areas, we couldn't say, but ordinarily we would not think of Hays County as having overly moist soils.

 

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