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

Infrequently blooming yucca in Harrison AR
June 10, 2011 - My Yuccas have only bloomed once in 8 years. Looking at the Internet I think mine is Elephantis variety - I did buy them at a nursery; they are in full sun.
view the full question and answer

Plants that ducks will not eat
May 12, 2009 - I own a lot of ducks and see a lot of people asking what kind of plants will they "NOT" eat... I know of some through experience.. Anything with shiny leave.. They don't touch my English ivy, rose...
view the full question and answer

Source for Bumelia lanuginosa in Kansas
August 18, 2007 - Do you know of a source of Bumelia lanuginosa? I would like to include it in a future landscape construction project on the Kansas State University campus.
view the full question and answer

Native Indian Rice Grass cultivation as food source
September 30, 2006 - Hi! I'm a student at UT and I ran across a grass while doing some reseach, native to Utah and Arizona, called Indian Ricegrass. It was used as a famine plant among native communities, however, it w...
view the full question and answer

Is Lycopodium digitatum native to South Carolina?
December 27, 2012 - Is Lycopodium digitatum native to SC; do you know if it's available in SC nurseries?
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