Explore Plants

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
    
 

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
2 ratings

Friday - July 17, 2009

From: Chappell Hill, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Trees
Title: Wild Texas olive trees in Chappell Hill TX
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

Are wild texas olive trees male and female? Mine is evergreen with no olives. I would like to have another that is evergreen and has no fruit but all I find are deciduous and have fruit.

ANSWER:

Cordia boissieri (anacahuita) is a 12 to 36 ft. tall tree, semi-evergreen to evergreen, blooming white sporadically during the year. If you are growing them in Chappell Hill, the trees would be semi-evergreen, dying to the ground after a severe frost. They are endemic to Texas, growing wild only in the lower Rio Grande Valley, and reported to be near extinction in the wild. This USDA Plant Profile shows their native area, and a small area in which some are probably being cultivated. 

Research did not turn up any indication that this plant is dioecious, that is, requiring a male and female plant to reproduce, so it is probably monoecious, with both male and female flowers on the same plant.  It is not closely related to other olives, and is a member of the Borage family. The fruits are not considered edible, but are loved by the birds.

If you already have an evergreen, non-bearing tree, your best bet is to propagate it by seeds, as suggested on our webpage on this plant. It is probably not available commercially, partly because you are out of the area where it is native, and partly because it is nearing extinction in the wild.

 

 

More Trees Questions

Premature leaf drop on Red Maple in Kentucky
June 25, 2008 - I have a ten foot Red Maple tree that has been set out for 4 years. Its leaves have slowly turned colors until it currently looks like fall. The leaves are not falling off nor is there yet any s...
view the full question and answer

Trimming a bur oak in Llano, TX
February 06, 2009 - We have a beautiful, large Burr Oak next to our house. This tree has many large lateral branches. I have trimmed dead branches, but no other trimming. It grows a lot of "suckers" during growing sea...
view the full question and answer

Safe grazing for donkeys and goats from Osteen FL
June 30, 2012 - I am having a very difficult time trying to find shrubs, hedges, plants, flowers, or trees etc. that are safe for donkeys and goats. We live in Zone 9 and have a small farm. I've had to pull every ...
view the full question and answer

Tall trees for privacy screen in St. Augustine FL
March 24, 2013 - Please let me know what kind of evergreen tall trees I can plant for privacy in my back yard in the st. Augustine, Florida area. Thanks for your assistance.
view the full question and answer

Are leaf margins of Chilopsis linearis toothed from Austin
December 22, 2013 - Are the leaf margins of Chilopsis linearis, Desert Willow, smooth or toothed? The NPIN descrip says willow-like. Most willows have toothed leaf margins. Thank you.
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.