Explore Plants

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
    
 

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

Care of non-native house plant, probably Coleus
September 16, 2007 - What would cause the new leaves of a house plant to be solid green? When I bought it, the original leaves were almost like a "tie-dye" fabric (green,yellow,orange, and red).
view the full question and answer

Many different species called
February 07, 2006 - I know from researching that Dusty Miller is drought tolerant. But, I tend to water too much when I do get irrigation water. Will it stand this? (clay soil, near a very young globe willow, southern ex...
view the full question and answer

Plants not native to North America in Hawaii
February 18, 2009 - Do not know if you have any experience for Hawaii but here it goes. I live on Maui and have some coco palms, a line of 12, two of them right next to each other (15-20 ft). They are a decent shade of ...
view the full question and answer

Bees on non-native holly from Oakland TN
April 18, 2013 - I have bees all over my Nellie Stevens holly. Can I spray anything to alleviate this issue?
view the full question and answer

Use of non-native Indian Mustard for reducing lead in soil
February 07, 2007 - The EPA phytoremediation documents say lead contamination can be reduced with Brassica juncea: "Successful Reduction of Lead Contamination. Phytoextraction was demonstrated at a site in Tren...
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.