En EspaŅol

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?


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
Can't find the answer in our existing FAQs, submit a question to Mr. Smarty Plants.
Need help with plant identification, visit the plant identification page.
rate this answer
Not Yet Rated

Friday - November 29, 2013

From: Kempner, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Edible Plants, Trees
Title: Fruit trees for Kempner, Texas
Answered by: Nan Hampton


I just moved to Kempner , TX and would like to plant a couple of fruit trees in my 1 1/4 ac yard. I would like to plant a species that will do well and produce edible fruit. Any assistance will be appreciated.


Prunus mexicana (Mexican plum) is your best choice.   Not only does it produce delicious small plums to eat and use for jelly and jam, it is also a source of food for wildlife and produces a beautiful show of fragrant flowers in the spring.  The only other fruit tree native to Lampasas County that you probably would consider truly edible would be Carya illinoinensis (Pecan); but, unless your property has areas adjacent to a stream or other water source, the pecan will not do very well.  Another native fruit tree that grows well in Lampasas County is Diospyros texana (Texas persimmon). Its fruit, with a flavor some compare to prunes, is certainly edible and the wildlife love it, but most people think it doesn't have a very pleasing flavor.   There are a few shrubs that produce edible fruit that would grow well in your area—Capsicum annuum (Chile pequin) and Mahonia trifoliolata (Agarita).  Both have small red berries that are edible.  There are also several grape vines native to your area—Vitis cinerea var. helleri (Winter grape), Vitis monticola (Sweet mountain grape) and Vitis mustangensis (Mustang grape).

If you were thinking of fruit trees such peaches, apples or pears, those are not native to Texas nor even to North America.  You can read about their origins in the answer to a previous Mr. Smarty Plants question.  Since they aren't North American natives (our area of focus and expertise) we can't really help you with the best varieties for your Lampasas County property.   For help with those you should contact your Lampasas County Cooperative Extension Service agent.


From the Image Gallery

Mexican plum
Prunus mexicana

Mexican plum
Prunus mexicana

Mexican plum
Prunus mexicana

Mexican plum
Prunus mexicana

Mexican plum
Prunus mexicana

Mexican plum
Prunus mexicana

Mexican plum
Prunus mexicana

Carya illinoinensis

Texas persimmon
Diospyros texana

Chile pequin
Capsicum annuum

Mahonia trifoliolata

Winter grape
Vitis cinerea var. helleri

More Trees Questions

Problems with a Cercis (Redbud)
August 25, 2014 - Half of my redbud tree is pooped out looking. On two places on the bark are areas where a few layers of bark have pulled back. In these areas there are white growths.
view the full question and answer

Leaves dropping on native Texas Mountain Laurel in San Antonio
September 20, 2008 - Please help. We have a beautiful TX Mountain Laurel in our front yard. This year the leaves are dropping like snow in the north. What do you think is wrong with our tree?
view the full question and answer

Knots growing on Arizona Ash in Richmond, TX
October 23, 2008 - I have three Arizona Ash trees around my house the trunks are at least 15" in diameter. One of the three has at least 25 large knots growing on its trunk, some maybe 6-8" in size. What are they? Are...
view the full question and answer

I need a tall tree with kind roots for a narrow space
March 11, 2009 - We have a space in the yard where a building is within 3 to 6 feet of where we would like a tall tree. What tree could achieve two stories in height, while not messing with the foundation of the bu...
view the full question and answer

Smarty Plants on arborvitaes
March 28, 2005 - Hello, I live in Allentown, PA and have a 7-foot arborvitae shrub in my backyard, planted in the corner of the yard where a wood fence intersects with the brick wall of the garage. I have had ma...
view the full question and answer

Smarty Plants's Facebook profile Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.

Mr. Smarty Plants wants you to be his Facebook friend. Click the Facebook icon to add yourself to Mr. Smarty Plants list of friends.
© 2015 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center