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

Tuesday - April 30, 2013

From: Pacific Plsds, CA
Region: California
Topic: Invasive Plants, User Comments, Cacti and Succulents
Title: Are agaves really native from Pacific Palisades CA
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

I just replied re agave issues, and mistakenly asked the source of your information. I see that you clearly noted it, apologies. I would note, however, that the Riverside area is very much a hot, inland area, and San Diego county includes the nation's largest desert state park, mere miles from the Mexico border. The mid and upper California Coastal mountain ranges have a completely different, milder, wetter environment.

ANSWER:

Since your question was about getting rid of them, the nativity really isn't the big issue. A weed is a plant where you don't want it. If the plant is native to the state where it is, that isn't necessarily a free ticket to stay there. However, whoever planted those agaves was justified in that they are native to California, and native close to the area where they were planted. They are desert plants and if they have found a very comfortable place to grow, they could be characterized as invasive. Bottom line: they are there, they are native there and getting them out is going to be very difficult. Short of a time machine whereby the planters could go back and not plant them, your choices are: get permission to have them removed (if that is necessary), pay a contractor to move them (and you will still have "pups" no matter what you do), or do it yourself. They are tough survivor plants, evolved to survive in a difficult environment and there is no spray you can buy at the home improvement store that will solve the problem.

 

More Invasive Plants Questions

Non-native genista racemosa from Leander TX
March 28, 2012 - Hello, Mr. Smarty Plants. I fear I've made a horrible purchase at a local plant place. Bought a "broom" plant--it's not listed in your database. Latin name: genista racemosa, according to tag. ...
view the full question and answer

Smarty Plants Exotic Species
March 26, 2004 - What Makes an Exotic Species Invasive? (When is a Guest a Pest?)
view the full question and answer

Controlling Rapistrum rugosum (annual bastardcabbage)
March 09, 2012 - The invasive, Rapistrum rugosum, seems to be especially ubiquitous this year. I communicated with Dr. Mark Simmons a few years ago regarding his research, which indicated that over-sowing wit...
view the full question and answer

Kudzu for Ft. Lauderdale, FL
July 27, 2010 - I just inherited a piece of land and am very much interested in starting some kind of homeopathic herbs. Can you tell me about Kudzu and where I can purchase some of these seeds?
view the full question and answer

Removing bermudagrass from buffalograss in Smithville TX
May 01, 2013 - I have a lawn created two years ago with buffalo grass sod in Smithville, TX. Recently several areas of bermudagrass have started to flourish in the buffalo grass lawn. Can you recommend a herbicide...
view the full question and answer

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