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

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

Source of seeds for non-native Artemisia pontica
May 26, 2006 - Hi, I've tried unsuccessfully to find seed for "roman wormwood" "Artemisia Pontica" Do you carry this or do you know a source in the US to get the seed? Much Thanks.
view the full question and answer

Questions about milkweed seeds
March 28, 2013 - Dear folks, I am trying to locate Nan Hampton from Los Fresnos, Texas who asked about Asclepias texana seeds and other Asclepias seeds on Dec. 10, 2008. I would like to know if she found any and has...
view the full question and answer

Sources for Strawberry Bush (Euonymus americana) in Pennsylvania
December 01, 2005 - I am interested in purchasing some Strawberry bush plants but I am having problems finding where I can purchase them. Any suggestions?
view the full question and answer

Source for Hickory in Texas
March 25, 2015 - I'm looking for a nursery in Texas that sells hickory trees. I've used your supplier links and gone through many, many websites of suppliers. However, the only nut tree anyone sells is pecan. I'...
view the full question and answer

Adding Wildflowers to Corpus Christi
May 20, 2012 - I have a dry sandy yard, full sun in Corpus Christi with lot's of stickers mostly, want to transform to wildflowers. When should I plant, how should I prepare soil, should I dig out stickers? Which 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 | JOBS | SITEMAP | STAFF INTRANET
© 2016 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center