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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 - August 20, 2007

From: Marble Falls, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Trees
Title: Waht are the truly native Texas trees
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

What two trees are truly native to Texas? I was told pecan and can't remember the other.

ANSWER:

According to the accepted practice, any North American plant that was present before the Europeans came to the continent is considered to be a native. The same would apply to Texas native trees. Perhaps you were referring to nut trees only? In that case, from the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center Plant Database, we learned that Juglans nigra (black walnut), Carya texana (black hickory), and Carya illinoinensis (pecan) are all nut trees native to Texas, which makes three. Then we started looking at the same Database for trees that were considered native to Texas. We found 30 trees, including the above-named nuts, three elms, four oaks, another walnut, two pines and many others that are familiar to students of Texas native trees. If you were asking about two trees native exclusively to Texas, we found two oaks, Quercus buckleyii and Q. graciliformis, but no pecans.

We're sorry we couldn't answer the question about "which is the other truly native Texas tree?" Maybe there is another qualifier to that question that we don't know about. If so, let us know, and we'll take another crack at it.

 

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