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
2 ratings

Tuesday - April 24, 2007

From: Fairview, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Invasive Plants
Title: Identification and replacement of chinaberry tree (Melia azedarach)
Answered by: Nan Hampton

QUESTION:

I am trying to identify and locate a native tree. We live in Fairview, near Allen, Texas. It is in bloom now. It has fragrant small lavender 5 petal flowers in clusters. They develop into yellow/tan berries. Most years the berries from the previous year are falling when they bloom. We had one of this tree in our yard when we moved in. It has since died. It didn't get much larger than 15 - 20 feet tall. Every attempt to find out what it was, was answered with rather negative comments. I would like to replace it if I could find it. I have seen several blooming right now, but no one knows what it is called or where i could get one. Thanks.

ANSWER:

The tree you are describing sounds like the chinaberry tree, Melia azedarach. The chinaberry is a native of Asia and is a seriously invasive plant in the southeastern United States. Although it has attractive blossoms and appealing shape, it is very aggressive and tends to out compete native trees. Additionally, the berries are toxic to animals including humans. Mr. Smarty Plants hopes that you will consider replacing your chinaberry with an attractive native tree. Here are a few suggestions for Collin County Texas:

Styphnolobium affine (Eve's necklacepod)

Chilopsis linearis (desert willow)

Prunus mexicana (Mexican plum)

Ungnadia speciosa (Mexican buckeye)

Viburnum rufidulum (rusty blackhaw)

Prosopis glandulosa (honey mesquite)

Fraxinus texensis (Texas ash)


Styphnolobium affine

Chilopsis linearis

Prunus mexicana

Ungnadia speciosa

Viburnum rufidulum

Prosopis glandulosa

Fraxinus texensis

 

 

More Invasive Plants Questions

Controlling Pickerel weed (Pontederia cordata) in British Columbia
March 10, 2009 - Hello, I am emailing from the west coast of Canada, Vancouver, and I have a plant question regarding a species you have listed on your website. We have recently discovered Pontederia cordata L. Pi...
view the full question and answer

Hydrilla problems in Tom Bean Lake in Mesquite, TX.
October 12, 2012 - What is the lifespan of Hydrilla in 30 acre lake at Tom Bean Tx? Does it grow spring thru summer and then hibernate thru winter ??
view the full question and answer

Identity of Dwarf Oyster Plant.
June 02, 2009 - I purchased a plant from the local Home Depot, and it said on the sticker in was a Dwarf Oyster Plant. I can't seem to find any information on that name, so maybe it was marked wrong. See if you ca...
view the full question and answer

Invasive spreading weed in Michigan that looks like a small pine tree
July 29, 2013 - I have an invasive spreading weed in my gardens. It has black root system, comes up looking like a small pine tree. The green breaks off when you try to pull it.
view the full question and answer

Do Salvia coccinea and Salvia occidentalis occur in Hawaii
April 27, 2008 - Aloha, Would you please happen to know if the salvia occidentalis and the salvia coccinea are growing in a wild state in Hawaii, the quantity (small or large areas? What are the weather conditions ...
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 | STAFF
© 2015 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center