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?

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
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

QUESTION:

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.

ANSWER:

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

Pecan
Carya illinoinensis

Texas persimmon
Diospyros texana

Chile pequin
Capsicum annuum

Agarita
Mahonia trifoliolata

Winter grape
Vitis cinerea var. helleri

More Trees Questions

What to do with a sickly American elm in Austin, Texas
September 27, 2010 - I have an American elm that is about 6 feet tall in my yard. It is has not grown quickly this year--as compared to another American Elm that I have in another spot that is about 3 feet tall and has m...
view the full question and answer

A tree to replace a pin oak in PA
January 25, 2011 - My 120 yr old pin oak has root and butt rot, 5 of 13 roots dead by pressure testing. I am in Pittsburgh PA. I want to plant a root rot resistant tree, either evergreen, fir or deciduous. The tree is 9...
view the full question and answer

Sappy dew killing plants under oaks in Missouri
September 19, 2008 - There is a sappy dew killing my perennials.I have several large oaks in my yard. I had different kinds of shade perennials around each base of the trees. But as years have gone by, the different varie...
view the full question and answer

Possible woodpecker damage in Monterrey Oaks
November 17, 2006 - I live in NW Austin and have two Monterey Oak trees, each about 30 - 45 gal in size. They both were planted approximately 9 months ago. Both trees seem to have some cracking bark on the trunk along w...
view the full question and answer

Identification of Diospyros texana at Enchanted Rock Park
April 07, 2007 - I took pictures last year in April of one particular large shrub in Enchanted Rock Park. The flowers are extremely fragrant, sort of cluster of tiny creamy white bell shaped. We came back this last we...
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.
E-NEWSLETTER | BECOME A MEMBER | DONATE NOW | MEDIA | SITEMAP
© 2014 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center