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

Thursday - June 20, 2013

From: Bethlehem, PA
Region: Mid-Atlantic
Topic: Invasive Plants, Non-Natives, Herbs/Forbs
Title: Forget-me-nots choking a spring in Bethlehem PA
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

Hi Mr. Smarty Plants, I am restoring a native plant area along a spring that feeds directly into our local creek. Right now the spring is becoming choked with forget-me-nots, that I am trying to pull up. I realize that the forget-me-nots will just grow right back if I don't plant something else to keep them away. Do you have any advice for native plants to put along the spring to help stop the forget-me-not invasion? Thanks!

ANSWER:

First of all, may we inquire what you are doing with either Eritrichium nanum (Alpine forget-me-not) or Eritrichium nanum var. elongatum (Arctic alpine forget-me-not) growing in Pennsylvania? Looking at the USDA Plant Profile Map of Eritrichium nanum (Alpine forget-me-not) shows it grows natively only in western states and is the state flower of Alaska, a long way from Pennsylvania. Ditto Eritrichium nanum var. elongatum (Arctic alpine forget-me-not), except it doesn't grow in Alaska.

We think this is the usual confusion of a common name for two different plants. From Invasive Plants of Wisconsin, here is information on Myosotis sylvatica, (wood forget me not), which is a species of flowering plant in the family Boraginaceae, native to Europe. That article also mentions Myosotis scorpiodes, which is common in decidedly wet areas, and may well be what is clogging your spring. This means we will have no information on it in our Native Plant Database, but there is some mention of controlling it in the Invasive Plants of Wisconsin website. Since you certainly don't want to add any herbicides to your creek, you will probably just have to keep pulling it out. If it is well-established it is unlikely that you would be successful planting another plant on top of it in hopes of crowding it out.

 

From the Image Gallery


Arctic alpine forget-me-not
Eritrichium nanum var. elongatum

Arctic alpine forget-me-not
Eritrichium nanum var. elongatum

Arctic alpine forget-me-not
Eritrichium nanum var. elongatum

More Invasive Plants Questions

Getting rid of invasive Florida betony from Myrtle Beach SC
April 28, 2012 - How can I get rid of Florida Betony from my lawn and flower beds/ garden area. Garden area was thoroughly dug up and hand picked of all tubules last year at least a foot deep. They are much worse now....
view the full question and answer

What to do about bastard cabbage in the Austin area?
May 08, 2015 - I am noticing bastard cabbage taking over roadsides and medians at an alarming rate where a mixture of native flowers used to bloom. Is it allowable to organize efforts to pull the invasive plants ou...
view the full question and answer

Non-native Purple Hyacinth from Sylvania OH
May 21, 2012 - I am wondering if I plant a Purple Hyacinth Bean vine seed under a tree and allow it to grow up the tree trunk, will it kill the tree?
view the full question and answer

How to get rid of devils club (Oplopanax horridus)
November 22, 2007 - please tell me how to get rid of devils club!!!
view the full question and answer

Eliminating dogbane from transplanted milkweed in Franklin Lakes NJ
May 10, 2010 - We transplanted milkweed from the wild into our garden. Included in the clump of milkweed was dogbane. We weren't aware of how invasive dogbane is. We've has some success in digging it out but we'...
view the full question and answer

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