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
Not Yet Rated

Tuesday - May 20, 2008

From: Austin, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Plant Identification
Title: Identity of 50 ft. tree
Answered by: Nan Hampton

QUESTION:

I live in Austin and I have a tall (50-ft) tree outside my window. It's deciduous and has shiny, deep green, spear-tip, serrated leaves that vary in size from about hand- to dinner-plate size. I've never noticed any flower or fruit. It tolerates direct sun all day. The trunk divides about every ten feet. I thought it might be Ash, but I'm no tree guy.

ANSWER:

About the only tree I can think of with leaves that large is Firmiana simplex (Chinese parasol tree).  As the common name suggest, it is a native of Asia—China and Japan.  Here is another photo and more information and yet more information and another photo. 

If this doesn't happen to be your mystery tree, I think we are going to need some photos to determine what it is. See the the lower right corner of the Ask Mr. Smarty Plants page (under "Plant Identification") for instructions on submitting photos for identification.  Please take pictures of the leaves and also of the trunk.

 

More Plant Identification Questions

Plant identification from Sarasota, FL.
August 23, 2010 - Hi I recently went to Discovery Cove in Orlando Florida and saw a purple flowering tree/shrub that had branches similar to okra shape or starfruit shape, the leaves were very grainy similar to alligat...
view the full question and answer

Plant identification
June 11, 2011 - This plant will grow 12-15 feet or more in height in the rural areas of Ellis County south of Dallas. In a fractal manner, stems grow out of the stalk and then from the stems. The leaves are green, th...
view the full question and answer

Fog fruit?
June 29, 2009 - In your native plant database listing for Phyla nodiflora one of the common names seems to be misspelled (fog instead of frog). FYI, if wrong, please let me know.
view the full question and answer

Bermuda, not the only option in Memphis
November 04, 2014 - I'm building an energy efficient home in Memphis and want to extend that strategy to the landscaping. I'd like to plant native grasses, but this lot is surrounded by lots sodded with Bermuda grass....
view the full question and answer

Pictures to Mr. Smarty Plants from Bay Point CA
October 17, 2013 - Is there any way to send you a picture of my Mulberry tree, the Jade and the Spider Plants that are growing in my back yard so you can see what I'm talking about.
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