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 Shrubs Questions

Is slow growth of young Tx mountain laurel normal?
July 02, 2012 - My Texas mountain laurel is 2 or 3 years old and is about 4 feet tall. It seems quite healthy but has grown very little, if any, and has never bloomed. Is this normal? Although I don't want it to gro...
view the full question and answer

No Berries on Possumhaw from Victoria, TX
November 08, 2010 - I bought a Possumhaw about 4 years ago because I love red berry plants. So you can realize my disappointment in this very healthy looking green tree that refuses to give me any red berries. What is wr...
view the full question and answer

Problems with shrubs by pool in Bethesda, MD
February 24, 2012 - We are trying to grow Otto Luyken Laurels by a pool and doing okay, some brown spots on leaves, but not many. Also have Arbivatea beside the pool about 3 feet from the edge of the pool. They have a l...
view the full question and answer

Dead or Dormant Chile Pequins in Corpus Christi
November 12, 2010 - We have 4 chile pequin and 5 chiltepin plants growing our yard. All were thriving beautifully until we took a 12-day vacation in late July. There was little rain during that time but overall this y...
view the full question and answer

Varieties of Ceanothus suitable for Illinois
September 07, 2012 - Ceanothus Velutinus is the smell of western Montana, my home, to me, and I have relocated to Illinois. I miss it so much that whenever I go home I bring back a jar of ceanothis leaves and keep th...
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