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
Not Yet Rated

Tuesday - November 18, 2008

From: Austin, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Seed and Plant Sources
Title: Native trees with beautiful fall foliage
Answered by: Nan Hampton

QUESTION:

Dear Mr. Smarty Plants, This fall I have been seeing a tree with beautiful red leaves all over Austin and someone told me that these are Chinese tallow trees. Can you tell me where I might buy one of these trees? Thank you.

ANSWER:

Triadica sebifera (syn. Sapium sebiferum), Chinese tallow, a native of China and Japan, does produce beautiful fall foliage; but, unfortunately, it is considered very invasive, and is listed right up there with the worst invasives such as hydrilla, kudzu, and tamarisk by Texas and other government entities.  You can read an article, Chinese Tallow Tree Invades Texas Prairies, to learn about current research on the reason for its invasiveness and research on how to control it. So, obviously, we would not recommend purchasing and/or planting this tree.

If you would like to have a tree with beautiful red fall foliage, Mr. Smarty Plants can recommend several native trees (of various sizes) that will fill the bill spectacularly:

Acer grandidentatum (bigtooth maple)

Rhus lanceolata (prairie sumac)

Cotinus obovatus (American smoketree)

Quercus buckleyi (Buckley oak)

Quercus shumardii (Shumard's oak)

Viburnum rufidulum (rusty blackhaw)

Fraxinus texensis (Texas ash)


Acer grandidentatum

Rhus lanceolata

Cotinus obovatus

Quercus buckleyi

Quercus shumardii

Viburnum rufidulum

Fraxinus texensis

 

 

More Seed and Plant Sources Questions

Need source for seeds or plants of Pinus remota in Johnson City, TX..
October 18, 2011 - I cannot seem to find a source for Pinus remota or papershell pinyon pine. Who Grows this? I understand it is rare and would love to try it here in Johnson City. Thanks
view the full question and answer

Finding pictures in the Image Gallery from San Luis Obispo CA
August 23, 2009 - How can I select a picture when I don't know the photographer or anything else, just the name of the plant?
view the full question and answer

Commercial sources of Virginia creeper
August 19, 2011 - I am looking for Virginia Creeper 'Engelmannii' liners, I have looked through most of your national suppliers directory, only a couple carry vines. Thank you,
view the full question and answer

Resources on advisability of using native plants in landscaping
February 13, 2004 - I'm a member of the Williamson County NPSOT. It came to our attention recently that the city of Georgetown is considering trying to be "friendlier" to native and natural landscaping. At this point ...
view the full question and answer

Purchase of medicinal plants
August 14, 2007 - Hi. I am looking to buy some medicinal plants. One of them is Galium and the other is Thymus serpillum. Please advise me of where I can find them. Thank you very much. I really appreciate your hel...
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