En Español

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

Please forgive us, but Mr. Smarty Plants has been overwhelmed by a flood of mail and must take a break for awhile to catch up. We hope to be accepting new questions again soon. Thank you!

Need help with plant identification, visit the plant identification page.

rate this answer
3 ratings

Tuesday - April 29, 2008

From: Pflugerville, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Trees
Title: Information about FanTex ash.
Answered by: Nan Hampton


I live in central Texas and recenty planted Fan-tex ash trees thinking that they were similar to the native Texas ash. I am beginning to beleive that this tree has more in common with the Arizona ash than the Texas Ash. Can you give me some information on this?


Fantex is a cultivar of Fraxinus velutina (Arizona ash). Rather, Fantex is a "sport", or mutant form, of ash that was selected and developed by Fanick's Nursery in San Antonio for its different leaf type—its leaves are smooth; whereas the regular F. velutina leaves are somewhat fuzzy on the underside. There is, however, great variety in the texture of the leaves of this species. Additionally, Fantex apparently has a thicker leaf and is sterile (producing no seeds). It is always grafted onto Fraxinus velutina root stock according to the Pima Arizona Cooperative Extension. There are those who sing its praises and those who don't. The Modesto ash, another popular cultivar of F. velutina, is a male clone and thus produces no seed litter. It has come under attack, at least in California, by fungus.

Fraxinus albicans (Texas ash) is a different species altogether. You can read descriptions of F. velutina and F. texensis from Florida Cooperative Extension Service and compare them.

Fraxinus velutina

Fraxinus albicans





More Trees Questions

Planting Live oak trees in Katy, TX.
November 03, 2012 - We are building a house in a neighborhood where the HOA requires two live oaks in the front yard. Our lot is pie shaped leaving a very small front yard once you take into acct the driveway and sidewal...
view the full question and answer

Will lilacs survive in Houston?
October 26, 2009 - My wife loves the smell of Lilacs (we're originally from Oregon), but we don't see any here in Houston. Is it possible to get lilacs to survive in Southeast Texas?
view the full question and answer

Planting ornamental cherries in GA
February 18, 2011 - What is the correct way to plant ornamental cherry trees in N. Georgia Mountain clay soil? Which is the hardiest variety?
view the full question and answer

Fan-Tex ash tree roots a problem near house foundation from Bryan TX
February 23, 2013 - DO I need to worry about Fan TX roots being a problem near house foundations?
view the full question and answer

Pruning non-native peach in Austin, TX.
June 18, 2015 - I planted two five gallon Texas Star peach trees last February but didn't have the nerve to prune them back to knee height. After having been convinced that this is a good thing to do, I'd like to k...
view the full question and answer

Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.
© 2016 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center