Rent Shop Volunteer Join

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
18 ratings

Tuesday - March 31, 2009

From: San Antonio, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Edible Plants
Title: Native Fruits for Texas Hill Country
Answered by: Nina Hawkins

QUESTION:

Can you recommend a species of blackberry for San Antonio or any other fruit that will be compatible in my garden? (mostly Hill Country Native, thanks to Ladybird). The local store has raspberries, but I do not see anything encouraging on-line about their cultivation in Texas! (I'm from New York!)

ANSWER:

Mr. Smarty Plants has listed below some fruit-bearing plants that are native to Texas and are edible for humans.  The Mexican plum and Texas persimmon would be particularly suited to your garden of Hill Country natives, since they are also native to this region of Texas.  More extensive information about fruits native to Texas can be found in Delena Tull's book called Edible and Useful Plants of Texas and the Southwest.  Mr. Smarty Plants is not an expert on non-native fruits that can be grown in Texas, but found this Aggie Horticulture web article that you may find helpful.  According to the article, raspberries are indeed not adapted to conditions in Texas and would perform particularly poorly in the calcareous soils in the San Antonio area.  For blackberries, you are in luck.  Blackberries, native and non-native alike, are notoriously easy to grow here in Texas and elsewhere... meaning that they can also easily become invasive.  However, as long as you prune out the older canes that have already produced, you should be able to keep them in check.  For useful information on the cultivation and suggested varieties of blackberries and other food plants commonly grown in Texas you may want to check out Howard Garrett's book, Texas Organic Vegetable Gardening.  Mr. Smarty Plants wishes you many fruitful years to come!

Rubus trivialis (southern dewberry)

Prunus rivularis (creek plum)

Prunus mexicana (Mexican plum)

Diospyros texana (Texas persimmon) 

Diospyros virginiana (common persimmon)

Fragaria virginiana (Virginia strawberry)

Fragaria vesca (woodland strawberry)



Rubus trivialis


Prunus rivularis

Prunus mexicana

Diospyros texana

Diospyros virginiana

Fragaria virginiana

Fragaria vesca

 

 

More Edible Plants Questions

Are berries of American Beautyberry poisonous?
September 21, 2008 - I have an American Beautyberry Plant and I need to know if the purple berries are toxic - we have dogs and I wouldn't want them to eat them. Thanks for any information you may have on this plant.
view the full question and answer

Native American barberry with edible fruit in New Mexico
December 06, 2008 - HI I am looking for a native american burberry plant with edible fruit. I love Persian cuisine, and they use the dried fruit of the burberry plant in a rice dish that I would like to recreate. I liv...
view the full question and answer

Digging sassafras roots in Oklahoma
March 11, 2009 - When should I dig sassafras roots in eastern Oklahoma?
view the full question and answer

Problems with chile pequin from Pflugerville TX
July 19, 2012 - Hello there! I have a question about my chile pequin (Capsicum annuum L.) plant. I purchased it last year from the Wildflower Center Fall Plant Sale. It stayed in a pot until three months ago when I p...
view the full question and answer

Is Thalia dealbata toxic to dogs?
May 16, 2011 - A pond in a park frequented by dogs contains Thalia dealbata and I have seen numerous dogs eating the roots with relish, which we discourage, of course. They seem to really enjoy it though. Aft...
view the full question and answer

Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.