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

Wednesday - January 24, 2007

From: Beaumont, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Non-Natives
Title: Identification of Sphaegneticola trilobata as non-native invasive plant
Answered by: Joe Marcus

QUESTION:

Hello Mr. Smarty Plants, I have some wedelia growing but would like clarification on the type whether it is the texana or trilobata. Is the texana a bushy plant? Mine is more of the sprawling/trailing type. It easily roots itself just being on the ground. Also would Indian paintbrush survive in a urban setting? I have some Bluebonnets growing but would like to grow the paintbrush, too. Thanks so much.

ANSWER:

Wedelia texana is a spreading, low-growing shrub, but not a creeping plant. You may very well have Sphagneticola trilobata (formerly Wedelia trilobata), commonly known as Wedelia, Creeping Ox-eye or Yellow-dots. It is a native of South America and has been widely planted as an ornamental groundcover in more tropical parts of the US. Unfortunately, it often becomes an aggressive nuisance in the landscape. If you do have this non-native species in your garden, you might consider removing it before it gets out of control as it has in many area where it was planted.

Castilleja indivisa is the only species of Indian Paintbrush native to your area (Beaumont Texas). It will grow in your garden if the conditions are right for its culture. Castilleja species are hemiparasitic plants. That is, they derive part of their food from other plants - particularly grasses - through parasitic root connections. Therefore, it is a good idea to plant your Indian Paintbrush seeds near and amongst grasses. Wildflower meadows are generally the ideal environment for this species.

 

More Non-Natives Questions

Need some help with my Mexican Bush Sage in Rockport, TX.
July 07, 2011 - My Mexican bush sage looks leggy,ratty and sparse. It's planted in full sun and was cut back to the ground in early spring. My soil is sand and I've watered it sparingly as we've had no rain. I'm...
view the full question and answer

Blueberries and non-native squash in Fort Worth
April 15, 2010 - Blueberries in North Central Texas-Fort Worth In sun or shade? Got only male blossoms on my squash last year why?
view the full question and answer

Non-native, invasive Datura sprouting from compost
September 26, 2005 - Hi, I have a plant growing out of some compost we purchased this spring and no one can tell me what it is. It's about 4 ft. tall, the stem is maroon like rhubarb and it produces 4-5 in. tubular lig...
view the full question and answer

Graywater with soap on trees and shrubs from Austin
June 18, 2012 - I previously asked you about using rinse water from our top loading washer to water trees and flowers. I have two more questions: Can I use the soapy water to water trees and shrubs? Then I get...
view the full question and answer

Non-native bulbine damaged by freeze
March 15, 2010 - Our Texas bulbine were hit hard this year. The tops are dead, not sure if any roots are still alive. Should we trim them back to the dirt; if roots are still alive, will they emerge again via root s...
view the full question and answer

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