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
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

Replacing non-native invasives with native grasses and wildflowers from Round Rock TX
April 04, 2012 - I have a small piece of property (1.5 AC) East of Austin, Texas that get's overgrown with weedy vegetation (johnson grass, dandelion, and some tall yellow flowering plant that I see all over the medi...
view the full question and answer

Habiturf for Round Rock TX
March 17, 2013 - Topic Habiturf. We have just aerated our lawn. We were planning on throwing out bermudagrass seed. We already have bermudagrass as well as many weeds in the lawn especially the blue stem clump grass w...
view the full question and answer

Kousa Dogwood Fruit Toxic to Dogs?
October 14, 2014 - Are Kousa dogwood berries toxic to dogs?
view the full question and answer

Non-native Bird of Paradise plant (Strelitzia reginae)
November 30, 2008 - I have two Bird of Paradise plants on my lanai (Marion County, FL) and they are both in large pots. Nobody but me seems to like them at my house and I have been asked if I could trim all the leaves o...
view the full question and answer

Lantana failing to bloom from Tampa FL
October 04, 2012 - I reside in central Florida. I have planted several lantana the orange,red,yellow type. I don't have proper species name. They have been in the ground 3 weeks with 2" of potting soil around root ba...
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