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
4 ratings

Thursday - June 05, 2008

From: Austin, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Trees
Title: Fruit on Mexican olive in Austin
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

Does Mexican Olive set fruit in Austin? Does there need to be a male and female tree or not. How old does the plant have to be to set fruit? Mine is three years old but no olives. I need to know when to order my olive oil press.

ANSWER:

Better hold off on that press. From a number of different sources, we found this kind of information on the fruit of the Cordia boissieri (anacahuita): "fruit not edible," "parts of plants poisonous if ingested," "Sweet fruit relished by birds and other wildlife and, although edible by man, should not be eaten in quantities," "purple fruit is said to be edible but may cause dizziness and intoxication, so consumption is not recommended." The best website on the tree we found is this Greenbeam site. The general consensus seems to be this is a great tree for the Southwest, probably can avoid frost damage as far north as San Antonio, somewhat rare but can be propagated by cuttings, and gorgeous blooms May to June. Beyond that, let the birds have the fruit and buy olive oil, it's probably cheaper than the press.


Cordia boissieri

Cordia boissieri

Cordia boissieri

Cordia boissieri

 

 

 

More Trees Questions

Decline of mesquite and persimmon trees in San Antonio
September 07, 2009 - We have lived in a house in San Antonio for about 30 years now and in the last 5 years, we have seen the decline of several mesquite and wild persimmon trees. I am wondering what would cause their de...
view the full question and answer

Sap dripping from redbud in Bertram, TX
March 03, 2014 - Our multi-trunked Texas redbud has sap dripping down 3 of the trunks. It seems to originate from a very small crack in each trunk. The tree is just starting to show pink this week, and is about to blo...
view the full question and answer

Evergreen hedge for NY
February 26, 2012 - I am looking for a native evergreen shrub that could be used as a hedge or privacy screen on the Rockaway peninsula in Queens county. It is a beach community with sand soil ( except where it has been...
view the full question and answer

Should a mustang grape be left near live oak in Austin?
July 17, 2009 - I recently removed a huge mass of jasmine from a clump of live oaks. Inside I found a very large (12' long) exposed root of a mustang grape. I'd like to trim it back to the original clump and reta...
view the full question and answer

Patio Privacy Screen Suggestions for Central Texas
March 17, 2013 - I have just built a patio and want to plant some small trees, bushes or shrubs to form a visual barrier (rather than to erect a fence)to the neighbors yard.
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