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
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

Need source of plants for making teas in Bend, Oregon.
July 08, 2012 - I love to make my own tea, just moved to central Oregon and want to know some good plants I can find anywhere in town and can use in my teas.
view the full question and answer

Edibility of Rumex hastatulus (heartwing sorrel)
March 25, 2007 - My mother and aunt, who are in their 80s, tell stories of eating a plant, when they were girls in North Central Texas. They call the plant "sheep shire". My mother says that it is a flat weed, that...
view the full question and answer

Edible Native Plants for a Small Austin Garden
March 15, 2010 - Hello Mr. Smarty Plants (or Mrs. or Miss, whomever is answering this go'round)! First off, thank you so much for all the help you have given me in the past. Secondly, the company my husband works ...
view the full question and answer

Can beautyberries be used to make jelly from Hodges SC
August 02, 2010 - Since the beautyberry bush berries were used for tea to help with colic, can the berries be used for making jelly?
view the full question and answer

How Do Persimmons Breed - Starkville, MS
August 14, 2012 - Thank you for your earlier response about the genders of native persimmon trees. We have two, a much larger one that has borne fruit for years and years and a smaller one that I'd just assumed was m...
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 | STAFF
© 2015 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center