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?


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
1 rating

Friday - October 31, 2008

From: Spring, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Invasive Plants
Title: Eucalyptus tree for Spring, Texas
Answered by: Nan Hampton


I've heard eucalyptus trees do not lose their leaves in the winter and grow considerably tall. I want to replace a decaying pine tree with a eucalyptus tree. Do you recommend that for the Spring, TX area climate.


There are several reasons that we would not recommend Eucalyptus spp. for Spring, Texas.  First of all, they are  native to Australia and New Guinea and what we are all about here at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center "is to increase the sustainable use and conservation of native wildflowers, plants and landscapes" of North America. Secondly, some of the species of Eucalyptus are considered invasive (e.g., E. globulus in California).  Thirdly, most of the species grow best in Mediterranean-type climates with cool wet, winters and dry, warm summers. This isn't really the climate of Spring, Texas.  Additionally, the debris from eucalyptus (bark strips and fallen leaves) is highly flammable as are the trees themselves because of the volatile oils that they contain.

Here are several recommendations for native evergreen trees as a substitute for eucalyptus.  All of these grow in Harris County:

Ilex opaca (American holly)  

Juniperus virginiana (eastern redcedar)

Magnolia grandiflora (southern magnolia)

Pinus taeda (loblolly pine)

Prunus caroliniana (Carolina laurelcherry)

Quercus virginiana (live oak)

Ilex opaca

Juniperus virginiana

Magnolia grandiflora

Pinus taeda

Prunus caroliniana

Quercus virginiana



More Invasive Plants Questions

Invasive iceplant in Hawaii
October 29, 2008 - Last time I checked Hawaii was in North America. Invasive or not, iceplant continues to be a much used ground cover etc for golf courses, sides of the freeway and many many City and County projects pr...
view the full question and answer

Identification of bushes with red berries in Tennessee
January 31, 2012 - I was recently traveling thru Clarksville, TN and saw these bushes (at the shopping mall) that had clusters of small red berries on them. They were not a Holly that I know of. The leaves were not th...
view the full question and answer

Lists of edible plants in region of Pennsylvania for school project
September 12, 2006 - Please Help! I'm a grade four teacher in Philadelphia. My students and I are assigned a theme project that involves listing edible plants that grow in our region. Can you recommend a web site(s)...
view the full question and answer

Violets becoming invasive in Prince Edward Island, Canada
March 18, 2009 - Last Spring I planted several violets and by the end of the Summer they have become an invasion in my garden. I'm afraid that they will get into my lawn and cause a real problem. Any way of getting r...
view the full question and answer

Butterflies attracted by Pink Evening Primrose from Burnet TX
July 30, 2012 - I see information on Pink Evening Primrose that says it attracts 'many butterflies' Please tell me which butterflies and name them? I've looked everywhere and am just exhausted and frustrated with...
view the full question and answer

Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.
© 2015 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center