En EspaŅol
Share

Ask Mr. Smarty Plants

Mr. Smarty Plants - Viability of non-native Royal Poinciana in Austin

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

Wednesday - August 20, 2008

From: Austin, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Non-Natives
Title: Viability of non-native Royal Poinciana in Austin
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

My question is about the tree called Royal Poinciana that grows so well in the Rio Grande Valley. I realise it isn't a native but hope you have an opinion about its chances of survival in Austin. I believe it is actually a Caesalpinia.

ANSWER:

The Delonix regia, Family Caesalpineaceae, is endemic to Madagascar, where it is endangered, but widely cultivated elsewhere. It is a tropical legume, related to the mimosa. One website we saw said it was hardy from Zone 10a to 11; another said 10b to 11, a pretty tight range of hardiness, and not representative of Austin! About the best you can hope for around here is Zones 7a to 8b. Information we found indicated that it would not grow well in a large pot in a greenhouse situation, and refused to bloom in a pot. If you are game to give it a try, it needs to be well-watered until established, then only during severe drought. You should not plant the tree closer than about 10 feet from a pavement or sidewalks, since large surface roots often grow beneath them and destroy them. This USDA Forest Service website on Royal Poinciana will give you more information.

 

More Non-Natives Questions

Small white bugs on indoor hibiscus in Ohio
November 25, 2008 - My Hibiscus has small white bugs on the leaves with small white residue. Looks like very small pieces of white rice. This white rice is also covering the UNOPENED buds and making them fall off. It ...
view the full question and answer

Problems with non-native Banana Shrub from Houston
May 01, 2014 - My 7' beloved Banana Shrub (magnolia) has white dots on top of the leaves and nasty black stuff covering the backside of the leaves. The plant is dropping leaves. What can I do to save it? I has bee...
view the full question and answer

Native grasses for golf courses from Austin
October 06, 2013 - I may be working on two different golf courses and wanted to know if any native or hybrid native grasses would work for the fairways and rough areas? The rough areas are no problem as a number of ...
view the full question and answer

Transplant of non-native Lathyrus tuberosus in North Carolina
June 13, 2006 - I have a tuberous sweetpea vine that grows wild on our property. When would be a good time to move this plant to a better location?
view the full question and answer

Freeze damage to non-native Sago Palms in Red Rock TX
April 19, 2010 - I have 4 beautiful large sago palms in my rural Texas yard. All 4 have been damaged by several hard freezes this winter. All fronds are brown, with a little green at base of inner fronds. Are they ...
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