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?

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

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
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

Native holly (ilex) for Austin area
May 28, 2006 - Hi--my brother and his family live in Austin, TX--their german shepard "Holly" just died (she was 13)--I was throwing around the idea of sending them a holly plant of some sort to have in honor of H...
view the full question and answer

Lifespan of pecan from Austin
February 26, 2014 - What is the lifespan of a pecan tree? I've seen several places say up to a thousand years, but I'd always thought it was closer to around 300 years. Thanks!
view the full question and answer

Northern Catalpa Tree Doing Poorly
July 02, 2014 - One of our Northern Catalpa trees appears to be dying. It is about 28 feet tall and this year only about 1/3 of it is producing leaves. It is next to our largest Catalpa tree (about 65 feet tall and a...
view the full question and answer

Need source for seeds or plants of Pinus remota in Johnson City, TX..
October 18, 2011 - I cannot seem to find a source for Pinus remota or papershell pinyon pine. Who Grows this? I understand it is rare and would love to try it here in Johnson City. Thanks
view the full question and answer

Huisaches in pots from Houston TX
May 20, 2012 - I have special (and probably weird) affinity to huisaches (acacia farnesiana). As a child I used to admire the three that elegantly guarded our backyard looking almost like fingers reaching for the s...
view the full question and answer

Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.
E-NEWSLETTER | BECOME A MEMBER | DONATE NOW | MEDIA | JOBS | SITEMAP | STAFF INTRANET
© 2016 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center