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

Sunday - June 17, 2012

From: Islesboro, ME
Region: Northeast
Topic: Invasive Plants, Non-Natives, Shrubs
Title: Non-native invasive Siebold viburnum from Isleboro ME
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

I was given several small Siebold Viburnum for planting on my Maine property. Even though it is often for sale in nurseries, I'm aware it is listed as invasive in several eastern states. Shouldn't I decline the gift and avoid planting these plants as possibly invasive in Maine as well?

ANSWER:

Since this plant is native to Japan, it is out of our area of expertise. However, for our own information as well as yours, we searched on "Siebold Viburnum invasive" and got an eyeful. Apparently, the biggest problem is that the berries of this shrub are very attractive to birds. The birds feed on them, go somewhere else, and deposit the seeds. The shrub grows quickly, and in an wild area can be up and taking over before anyone notices it. We read one comment that we thought was very telling. It had to do with the fact that you cannot defend all plants in all spaces from invaders, but you can take care of the area you are responsible for. It is hardy in USDA Zones 4 to 7, so we have no experience with it in Texas, but we don't like viburnums that do get established here.

We really can't tell you what to do, this is a decision  landowners must make for themselves. The seeds of the plant you put in the ground may not produce invasive stands in your lifetime, but eventually they will. You make the choice - free, bird-attracting shrubs or a possilble environmental problem down the road.

 

More Non-Natives Questions

Leaf problems on non-native Pachira aquatica
January 31, 2009 - I have a Pachira Aquatica. I have had it for 6 months and it has been thriving and growing very tall with nice leaves. Lately some of the leaves have become mottled yellowish green and fallen off. Ca...
view the full question and answer

Pruning Citrus Suckers
October 06, 2014 - Mr. Smarty Plants, you are the only person that has "not" insisted that the little balls on Satsuma and lemon trees were clumps of bugs. They are surely what you described in the answer to my previo...
view the full question and answer

Request for seeds or cuttings for Malvaceae from French Botanical Garden
September 03, 2011 - hello We create a botanical garden devoted to the Malvaceae, can you help us by sending us seeds or cuttings? friendly the director jean-marie Jolicard botanical garden beaulieu 23170 LÚpaud F...
view the full question and answer

Problems with non-native cuphea in Pearland TX
November 09, 2009 - I have about 8 Bat Face Cupheas and I am having trouble with them. First, instead of mounding 360 degrees, the branches all grow forward (they do bloom well). They're in full sun, about 3 feet out fr...
view the full question and answer

Are dusty millers perennial in Dubuque, IA?
April 24, 2009 - I have dusty millers in my front yard. Last fall I did nothing with them as I wasn't sure if they will return or not. Do the dusty millers continue to grow year after year and should I cut them dow...
view the full question and answer

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