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

Weed eradication in Turfallo
April 18, 2008 - I live in the Texas Panhandle and last June we planted Turfallo in our backyard - we now have lots of weeds - my information says I can use products containing MSM and 2410 to eradicate weeds. I am a...
view the full question and answer

Replacing grass with xeric plants in Nevada
March 20, 2009 - I am looking to xeriscape my front yard - remove all grass! I am thinking 3-4 larger plants: bird of paradise (mesquite??), aloe, and ..?? Also, possibly a Chilean mesquite. Do you have suggestio...
view the full question and answer

Finding a source of Straggler daisy
October 14, 2015 - I've decided on Straggler daisy but am having trouble finding it. It would be perfect for me. Do I have to wait until next Spring for it to show up? Can it be ordered through a nursery or a landscape...
view the full question and answer

Sources of native wildflowers for Long Island, NY
May 27, 2005 - What wildflowers are native to Long Island and where can I buy seeds/plants? There is so much information out there that I find my region, Long Island, seems to get lost. There is only 1 loca...
view the full question and answer

Looking for nursery selling Wrights skullcap (Scutellaria wrightii)
May 02, 2007 - I'm located in Plano, and am trying to find seeds or seedlings for a plant species I saw at the LBJ Wildflower Center in Austin. I'm looking for a blue-flowering ground cover plant that is called W...
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 | SITEMAP | STAFF
© 2016 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center