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?


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
Not Yet Rated

Thursday - April 03, 2008

From: Morehead City, NC
Region: Mid-Atlantic
Topic: Non-Natives
Title: Non-native fruit trees for eastern North Carolina
Answered by: Barbara Medford


Are there any good fruit trees to grow in eastern North Carolina? For example peaches, apples, plums? What are your recommendations? Thank you!


Unfortunately for native plant aficionados, which we are at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center, most food crops are either non-native in origin or have been so hybridized that they are no long considered native. Apples originated in Asia, so even the legendary Johnny Appleseed must have had seeds brought from Europe. Prunus persica is a species of Prunus native to China that bears an edible juicy fruit called a peach. There are several species of Prunus native to North America that produce edible plums, but only two of them are distributed naturally in North Carolina: Prunus americana (American plum) and Prunus mexicana (Mexican plum). Even these native plums are difficult to find in cultivation, and are often used as rootstock for hybridizing. We found this website on Carteret County Tree Facts; page down to "Information Sources" and find an e-mail address for North Carolina Cooperative Extension where you can ask for the list of native and highly adapted trees, shrubs and perennials that grow in Carteret County. The same website does go on to list the trees.

Prunus americana

Prunus mexicana

Prunus mexicana




More Non-Natives Questions

Non-native St. Augustine grass failing for 5 years in Houston
July 21, 2013 - My townhome in Houston has a mid-size backyard, which receives full sun for much of the day. I've re-sodded with St. Augustine for 5 consecutive summers, but it consistently dies over time (proper fe...
view the full question and answer

Care for non-native Centipede grass
February 27, 2013 - My lawn is Centipede. I have created a new lawn area. Can and when should I seed/overseed my lawn? I have Rye in the new area.
view the full question and answer

Pruning of non-native abelias in Fair Oaks Ranch, TX
January 24, 2011 - I have some old established Abelias that are leggy at the bottom. Can I cut them back, and if so, how far and best time to do so?
view the full question and answer

Growth rate for eucalyptus in Florida
September 21, 2006 - How fast does eucalyptus grow in Florida?
view the full question and answer

Why are the leaves on my Laurel hedge turning brown in Everett, WA?
February 22, 2010 - Our laurel hedge seems to have brown leaves on the top of the bush. We haven't had a freezing winter so we are trying to figure out why some of the leaves are brown.
view the full question and answer

Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.
© 2015 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center