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

Monday - March 10, 2014

From: Johnson City, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Propagation, Seeds and Seeding, Trees
Title: Source for Ashe Juniper seeds from Blanco Co., TX
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

I'm trying to find Ashe Juniper seeds to plant in bare areas of my property in central Texas. I understand they grow well in rockier soil and have many other benefits for native animal species. Unfortunately, I haven't been able to locate any vendor of the seeds. Do you know where I might find some?

ANSWER:

We have had a recent question from someone in Bastrop Co. seeking to get rid of their Juniperus ashei (Ashe juniper), because they felt it took up too much water. We suggest you read this previous answer and see what you may be up against if you pursue your project. If you follow this plant link, Juniperus ashei (Ashe juniper), you will find several pieces of information that should be of interest to you, including:

"Though a fragrant, evergreen, and picturesque tree, Ashe Juniper pollen, like that of many junipers, is very irritating to people with cedar allergies, so where the tree occurs in large concentrations, as in central Texas, it often becomes hated and targeted for removal, with various, sometimes invented, rationalizations given for doing so."

"Growing Conditions

Water Use: Low
Light Requirement: Part Shade
Soil Moisture: Dry
Soil Description: Rocky, well-drained soils. Limestone-based, Sandy, Sandy Loam, Medium Loam, Clay Loam, Clay
Conditions Comments: Texas madrone, Texas smoke tree, silk-tassel tree, cedar sage, and zexmenia germinate and grow well beneath ashe juniper, refuting the rumor that nothing grows under these trees. Ashe juniper is immune to cedar-apple rust. It invades disturbed sites."

"Propagation

Propagation Material: Seeds
Description: Seed can be sown outdoors in fall or stratified and sown in spring. Seed germination is often poor, so a large quantity of seeds should be sown.
Seed Collection: Collect seeds from late summer through fall when it has turned its ripe color. Seed can be extracted by running the fruits through a macerator. Thoroughly dry and clean seeds to avoid mold and overheating. If not planting immediately, air dry before storing. Store in sealed containers at 20-40 degrees.
Seed Treatment: Stratify at 41 degrees for 30-120 days."

Here is another previous answer, this one also on propagating Juniperus ashei (Ashe juniper). And, from Texas A&M AgriLIFE Extension, an article on Biology and Ecology of Ashe Juniper, which has an extensive discussion of seeds and propagation.

Beyond that, we found no commercial source for the seeds. Apparently, you can gather some of the blue "berries" and remove the seeds from them, as you see above in "Seed Collection. Beyond that, we're stumped. We really hate that.

 

From the Image Gallery


Ashe juniper
Juniperus ashei

Ashe juniper
Juniperus ashei

Ashe juniper
Juniperus ashei

Ashe juniper
Juniperus ashei

Ashe juniper
Juniperus ashei

Ashe juniper
Juniperus ashei

More Seeds and Seeding Questions

Too late to begin planting in May in Austin?
April 30, 2008 - Is it too late to begin planting in May? I live in Austin Texas and have finally completed my plans for a native Texas landscaping (plants and grass) of my front yard. I'd like to get the landscapi...
view the full question and answer

Wildflower seeds affected by mulch in Austin
October 24, 2010 - I have a small wildflower garden in my central Austin yard. In early summer, I had some extra mulch and put it in this garden. Now I'm thinking that was a mistake. The bed has re-seeded itself for se...
view the full question and answer

Variety of colors in bluebonnet seeds from Houston
November 18, 2013 - Bluebonnet seeds I have collected are a variety of colors, from the sandy/tan color to a grayish color and black color. Are all variations viable? Are they equally viable?
view the full question and answer

Golden groundsel plants or seeds for Bulverde TX
October 02, 2011 - Where can I find golden groundsel, plants or seeds?
view the full question and answer

Bluebonnets in memorial garden in cemetery
April 11, 2008 - When is the peak time to scatter bluebonnet seeds? I have a loved one that recently died, and she requested that her body be cremated. She would like her ashes to be mixed with bluebonnet seeds and ...
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