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

Monday - April 28, 2008

From: Austin, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Diseases and Disorders
Title: Round growths on Mexican buckeye
Answered by: Nan Hampton

QUESTION:

I have two pink buckeyes next to each other in my yard. The branches on one are completely covered in brown, round growths about the size of a pill bug. The other tree has none. Can you tell me what they are and if its a problem for the tree?

ANSWER:

I am supposing your trees are Ungnadia speciosa (Mexican buckeyes), but I haven't been able to find any pests or diseases that are associated with this species. In fact, Florida Cooperative Extension Service says "No pests or diseases are of major concern." However, the growths on your one tree sound like galls. Although they can be caused by fungi, nematodes and bacteria, they are most commonly caused by insects. The female insect lays its egg on the plant and the plant, usually a tree, reacts by producing a growth around the egg that isolates it. The insect larvae that hatches from the egg grows by feeding on the substance of the gall and then chewing its way out to continue its life.

Although they may be unsightly, galls are not considered seriously harmful to the tree. Using insecticides for controlling the insects after the galls have been formed is not effective since the pests are protected inside the gall.

It is interesting that one tree has galls and the other hasn't.


Ungnadia speciosa

Ungnadia speciosa

 

 

More Diseases and Disorders Questions

Problems with red oak trees in North Central Texas
July 13, 2013 - What is the disease effecting Red Oak trees in North Central Texas; causing them to lose leafs in Spring/Summer and turning the remaining leaves light yellow/lime green in color. Thank you.
view the full question and answer

When is it time to remove diseased oak trees in Belton, TX?
May 03, 2013 - When to give up on my live oaks. We lost/mostly several live oaks since 2011 and the drought. One, died from the crown, one large mass at a time, and now resembles a 10' totem pole with scraggly gro...
view the full question and answer

Freeze damage to non-native Philodendron selloeum in Deltona FL
June 22, 2010 - My philodendrons selloeum died this past winter in the freeze,came back slowly this spring and now are suffering with very small deformed leaves. Some do grow but are getting large brown dry areas on ...
view the full question and answer

Lantanas failing to bloom, turning brown
October 06, 2007 - The lantana in my front yard does not bloom, is not overwatered but does get watered, leaves turned brown and plants generally have not grown. The lantana in the rest of the yard are in bloom and lo...
view the full question and answer

Elimination of dirt dauber insects
August 18, 2006 - Hello - I live in the southeast part of Guadalupe Co. in the post oak savanna area. Do you have any suggestions on how to control dirt dauber dirt/mud nests. I know these critters are beneficial, bu...
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