Rent Shop 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

Friday - July 06, 2012

From: SUNRISE, FL
Region: Southeast
Topic: Invasive Plants, Non-Natives, Poisonous Plants, Herbs/Forbs
Title: Dwarf oyster plant dying in Sunrise FL
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

WHAT WOULD BE KILLING MY DWARF OYSTER PLANTS

ANSWER:

From a previous Mr. Smarty Plants answer, here is the scientific name of this plant, Tradescantia spathacea. It will not be in our Native Plant Database because it is native to Mexico, the West Indies and Central America.

Perhaps you should be grateful to whatever it is. (Herbicides sprayed in the neighborhood?) We could find no information on killing Tradescantia spathacea or reviving it, but lots of information on the severe allergic reactions of people and dogs to some toxic substance exuded by it. See this Floridata website on Dwarf Oyster Plant.

Perhaps the best website for you to read is the forum Dave's Garden. Please read the 8 negative comments on the plant.

 

More Non-Natives Questions

Arborvitae for house plant from Austin
August 15, 2013 - I am a Northerner transplanted to Austin, TX. While I love Austin it feels like many of the plants & trees I came to love up north won't grow here at all. Could I grow an arborvitae in my home as a...
view the full question and answer

Can bougainvillea be grown in Las Cruces, NM?
May 05, 2010 - Can bougainvillea be grown in Las Cruces, NM?
view the full question and answer

Removal of thistles from Columbus TX
May 20, 2014 - I am sorry if you have an answer in FAQs but I could not find it. We recently cleared property near Columbus Texas of many cedars (ash junipers). This spring we experienced a profusion of thistle -...
view the full question and answer

Care for non-native Plumeria from Concord NC
August 01, 2012 - I have had my plumeria plant for the past 5 to 7 years. It is a pot plant and I live in North Carolina, I take the pot inside in he winter time. The leaves fall off, in the spring after the last fro...
view the full question and answer

Pruning practices from Austin
May 16, 2013 - I need to do some pruning in my front beds and I know nothing about plants. From what I have been able to identify I have bicolor irises, plumbago, Japanese Aralia. I don't even know where to begin o...
view the full question and answer

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