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

Eucalyptus tree for Spring, Texas
October 31, 2008 - I've heard eucalyptus trees do not lose their leaves in the winter and grow considerably tall. I want to replace a decaying pine tree with a eucalyptus tree. Do you recommend that for the Spring, T...
view the full question and answer

Getting rid of Japanese bindweed in Massachusetts
February 04, 2009 - How do you get rid of Japanese Bindweed (mile-a-minute)?
view the full question and answer

Source for non-native, invasive Winter Honeysuckle from Austin
April 24, 2013 - Seeing Lonicera abiflora today reminds me of the "winter honeysuckle" my grandfather grew in San Antonio from 1920s or so through the 1950's. It was a bush with stiff upright stems and bloomed cre...
view the full question and answer

Toxicity and invasiveness of Scarlet Wisteria
May 04, 2007 - I recently purchased seeds for Scarlet Wisteria (Chinese rattlebox tree). I spoke to a neighbor about this and she warned me not to plant them as they were poisonous to hummingbirds. Can you clarify...
view the full question and answer

Looking for lunaria in VA
May 06, 2011 - Where in the state of Virginia or North Carolina can I purchase the Lunaria annual plant? (the purple leaf lunaria annual plant)
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