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

Sunday - June 08, 2008

From: Palo Pinto, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Plant Identification, Shrubs
Title: Care for Vauquelinia angustifolia (Chisos Rosewood)
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

Hello, I have another question for you. A friend has given me a plant called "Chisos Rosewood" which they bought on a whim but decided they couldn't use. It's said to be evergreen. It's about 4 feet tall and very thin leaves. Will this work in my area? We have dry sandy soil, and there are both sunny and shady areas where I could put it. Would it need protection from cold or from deer?

ANSWER:

Lucky you, you should write a thank you note to the donors of this plant. It is a little-known desert shrub or small tree that is just now being introduced into cultivation, but it seems to be an excellent plant. Vauquelinia corymbosa ssp. angustifolia (slimleaf rosewood) is endemic to the Chisos Mountains of West Texas, thus the common name of Chisos Rosewood. It is a member of the Rosaceae Family, so it comes by the name "Rosewood" legitimately. Besides the information on our Native Plant Database (above) we found a couple more good websites on this plant. From The Dirt Doctor this article on Chisos Rosewood gives it high marks, warning only that it can be susceptible to rose leaf spot in high humidity area, which I don't think is going to be a problem in Palo Pinto. This Texas A&M Horticulture site on Vauquelinia angustifolia says it should have full sun, and it has high heat tolerance.

We never did find an explicit answer for your question on protection from deer, but after looking at this picture from the site Chihuahuan Desert Plants, we're betting that deer, who shy away from prickly things, will not put it on their menus. Of course, you know that when times are hard enough, deer will eat about anything that can't run away, so you just have to learn from experience. And, on the subject of cold tolerance, the native habitat of the Chisos Rosewood is in the Trans-Pecos of West Texas, at elevations of 3,000 to 5,000 feet. It gets pretty cold at those elevations, even in the desert. It would appear that Palo Pinto is in USDA Hardiness Zone 7b, which would mean the average minimum temperatures would be 10 deg to 5 deg. The best we can figure from that map, the Chisos Mountains would be in about the same zone. If you're concerned about cold hardiness, plant the bush in a sheltered, south-facing exposure, in the sun, of course.

Since we have only one picture of this plant in our Image Gallery, here is a page of pictures of the Chisos Rosewood. Be aware that some of the Google Images pages include a lot of stuff that isn't what you really asked for, but there are some pictures of the plant you're interested in.

 

More Plant Identification Questions

Plant ID from Chicago
August 18, 2010 - When I was hiking in Portland, OR, my friend had me eat a leaf off of a trail-side plant. It tasted very much like sour apple, it was delicious. It has average-sized green leaves and in July it had no...
view the full question and answer

Plant identification
April 16, 2009 - There is a plant growing on the side of the road near my home. The stalk of it is thistle like with many prickles. The flower on it is white and has 6 petals.
view the full question and answer

Identification of non-native Grape Hyacinth
April 13, 2013 - Mr Smarty Plants, can you tell me please, what is the name of the flower in the attached link? I see numerous references to it as blue bells or bluebells, but when I check the USDA Plants database, no...
view the full question and answer

Information about a red-flowered Pavonia lasiopetala in central TX.
September 07, 2010 - I have grown Pavonia for years and just let it re-seed where it wants (and remove if I don't want it where it falls). This year I created a new 6 inch raised bed amended with compost and some manure...
view the full question and answer

Identification of a white beebalm
October 03, 2009 - I have a photo of what looks like Bee Balm but it is white in color. What is the name of this wildflower?
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
© 2014 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center