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
Not Yet Rated

Saturday - April 27, 2013

From: Round Rock, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Invasive Plants, Non-Natives, Edible Plants, Herbs/Forbs
Title: Non-native invasive henbit from Round Rock TX
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

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 little else is blooming. What to do about the Henbit in our large backyard? It's mostly tall grasses, some buffalo grasses, some weed grasses, some wildflowers I am trying to establish. We have straggler daisy in the front yard. This is not an urgent question, whenever you get a chance I appreciate your time, thank you very much.

ANSWER:

According to this article from Invasives.org,  Lamium amplexicaule (Henbit) is, indeed an invasive weed in Texas. Of course, it is a member of the mint family, all of which are considered pushy to downright invasive, so you could always eat it. From Eat the Weeds Henbit: The Top of the Pecking Order.  However, it is also not native to North America, but to Europe, western Asia and northern Africa, so it would not appear in our Native Plant Database, and is out of our scope.

According to this USDA Plant Profile Map, henbit does grow in Travis and Williamson counties. If you consider it an advantage to wildlife and it is not crowding anything else out of your garden, there seems to be no reason to try to eliminate it.

 

More Herbs/Forbs Questions

Salt tolerant plants for shade on tidal inlet in NY
August 11, 2013 - Are there any salt water tolerant grasses or forbs with deep roots that grow in shade? I live on a tidal inlet/canal on Long Island NY. The southern bank has cedars and oaks but the soil is eroding ...
view the full question and answer

Native Species List for Ponca OK
June 24, 2011 - I planted daylilies in my Austin garden and did not do well. I moved these daylilies to my garden in Ponca City Oklahoma and have done outstanding relying only on mother nature's rain. My garden in ...
view the full question and answer

Foundation plants for Albuquerque.
July 01, 2012 - Hello, I live in Albuquerque. I am looking for some native/xeric low water usage plants for foundation plants for my home. They will be foundation plants for a two story home that has a large ponde...
view the full question and answer

Mosquito-deterring plants for shady hillside
July 05, 2011 - We have a part to full shaded hill side/ native woodland area that was once covered with english ivy..we managed to get rid of all the ivy but now we are overtaken with violets..maybe they are even na...
view the full question and answer

Plants to prevent erosion on slope in Texas
June 19, 2010 - We have an erosion problem developing on the low side of a gently sloping hill. We are in clay soil at the base of the hill with oaks and pines. We have a right of way that is without trees forty fee...
view the full question and answer

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