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

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 Invasive Plants Questions

Killing oak sprouts from El Paso TX
August 16, 2011 - I want to know how to kill oak root sprouts and seedlings. Very dense and out-of-control in huge area of front lawn. I had tree cut down and I still cannot get rid of them. They're only getting wors...
view the full question and answer

Non-native invasive henbit from Round Rock TX
April 27, 2013 - I've read in this book "Native Alternatives to Invasive Plants" that Henbit is an invasive plant in Texas. I've also read that it provides an early source of nectar to bees and butterflies when li...
view the full question and answer

Edibility of peppervine berries from Madison MS
February 09, 2012 - I am following up on a question I've posed to many well experienced foragers and naturalists regarding the pepper vine plant or Ampelopsis arbor. There are many conflicting stories regarding the edib...
view the full question and answer

Coltsfoot invasive in Rindge NH
July 21, 2009 - I live in Rindge NH. My question is how do I stop colts foot from taking over my land? It is getting out of hand.
view the full question and answer

Can rose Zephirine Drouhin damage brick from Springfield IL
August 22, 2010 - Can Z…PHIRINE DROUHIN damage brick?
view the full question and answer

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