En Español

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

Friday - February 21, 2014

From: Georgetown, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Wildlife Gardens, Trees
Title: Species of hackberry best for wildlife from Georgetown, TX
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

Which species of Hackberry tree is the best for wildlife in Georgetown, TX (just north of Austin)? Your Plant Database says Celtis occidentals is "among the BEST food and shelter plants for wildlife, but in your Q&A Database, Ive only seen the Celtis laevigata discussed for Central Texas. Is one species actually better than the other for wildlife? If both species would do well in our area, is there any problem with planting a few of each on the same 5 acres? Thank you!

ANSWER:

Okay, we can see how you got confused. Both Celtis occidentalis (Common hackberry) and Celtis laevigata (Sugar hackberry) are listed in our Native Plant Database with the common name "hackberry." You can follow the plant link to our webpage on each to learn their growing conditions, etc. On the webpage for Celtis occidentalis (Common hackberry), we found this line under Benefits:

"Use Wildlife: Hackberries are among the best food and shelter plants for wildlife. The fruit is relished by birds."

On the page for Celtis laevigata (Sugar hackberry), also under Benefits, was this line:

"Use Wildlife: At least 10 species of birds including robins, mockingbirds, and other songbirds eat the sweetish fruits."

This USDA Plant Profile Map shows that Celtis occidentalis (Common hackberry) is not native to Williamson County, but is native to Travis County and almost undoubtedly lives in Williamson County, too, but just has not been reported there. This USDA Plant Profile Map shows that Celtis laevigata (Sugar hackberry) does grow natively in Williamson County.

Take your pick.

 

From the Image Gallery


Common hackberry
Celtis occidentalis

Common hackberry
Celtis occidentalis

Common hackberry
Celtis occidentalis

Sugar hackberry
Celtis laevigata

Sugar hackberry
Celtis laevigata

Sugar hackberry
Celtis laevigata

More Wildlife Gardens Questions

Bird-friendly plants for the Texas coast
July 13, 2012 - I'm interested in starting a native plant garden, specifically with an eye towards providing food (either from the plants or insects that are attracted to the plants) for migratory birds. However, s...
view the full question and answer

Host plant for butterflies in North Carolina
March 27, 2008 - What is the best host plant for butterflies in North Carolina?
view the full question and answer

Want to Amend Soil Without Harming Earthworms in Dallas Area
March 16, 2011 - I have a totally odd question. I live in the Dallas area in the blackland soil. I am removing sod from part of my back yard and will replant with nectar and host plants for butterflies. The soil is...
view the full question and answer

Foundation plants for Albuquerque.
July 01, 2012 - Hello, I live in Albuquerque. I am looking for some native/xeric low water usage plants for foundation plants for my home. They will be foundation plants for a two story home that has a large ponde...
view the full question and answer

Native Bird Feeding in Belton, TX
July 04, 2011 - We recently bought a bird feeder and a huge bucket of non-native bird seed (I'm not sure if the whole seed mix is non-native, but I believe most of the mix is). The birds go through the whole bird fe...
view the full question and answer

Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.
E-NEWSLETTER | BECOME A MEMBER | DONATE NOW | MEDIA | JOBS | SITEMAP | STAFF INTRANET
© 2016 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center