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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.

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Ask Mr. Smarty Plants is a free service provided by the staff and volunteers at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center.

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Monday - March 12, 2007

From: Williamson County, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Trees
Title: Identification of native dogwoods in Williamson Co., TX
Answered by: Nan Hampton

QUESTION:

Hi Mr/Mrs SmartyPlants What are the small-ish wild trees that are blooming so beautifully now? They are practically covered in pretty white blossoms. I've always called them dogwoods but in the various plant books I've read it always seems to hint that they don't live around here. I know that the ornamental pears are starting to bloom now - these are not what I see - the one's I'm interested in are wild. I live in Williamson County. Thanks

ANSWER:

We think you are seeing Prunus mexicana (Mexican plum).

There is actually a dogwood, Cornus drummondii (roughleaf dogwood), that is native to Williamson County and most of Central Texas, but its blossoms don't look much like Cornus florida (flowering dogwood). Also, it doesn't usually begin blooming until April. Flowering dogwood does occur naturally east of Williamson County as near as Caldwell and Lee counties and, of course, you will find them as ornamentals growing in lawns in much of Central Texas.


Prunus mexicana

Cornus drummondii

Cornus florida

 

 

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