En EspaŅol
Share

Ask Mr. Smarty Plants

Mr. Smarty Plants - Wild Texas olive trees in Chappell Hill TX

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
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.


Cordia boissieri

Cordia boissieri

Cordia boissieri

Cordia boissieri

 

 

More Trees Questions

Why has my Kidneywood tree not put out leaves this year in Lockhart, TX?
July 06, 2010 - I have a native Kidneywood which I planted in 2003. It has grown enthusiastically since that time. It has always leafed late in the Spring, late April - mid - May. It bloomed several times in 2009. Th...
view the full question and answer

Smoketree not flowering in Beverly Hills CA
June 29, 2011 - Why is my Smoke tree not flowering? It is big and the leaves are beautiful but no blooms.
view the full question and answer

What's causing holes in trunk of white oak tree in SouthBend IN?
June 10, 2013 - We have a huge White Oak in our backyard that is approx. 130 years old. This evening I became aware that there are several small holes around the trunk that appear to be oozing a dark sappy liquid. ...
view the full question and answer

Could hickory leaves be used as seasoning from Waynesboro VA
September 17, 2011 - I have a hickory tree. If I pull a leaf off and rip it then smell, there is a strong wonderful scent of hickory much like when I rip a mint leaf there is a strong smell of mint. So my question is, can...
view the full question and answer

Bark problems on Platanus occidentalis (American Sycamore)
May 29, 2008 - I got home today, after two hot sunny days, and found that one of the sycamores (street tree) planted last year (3-4" caliper) has vertically split and peeling bark on the south side of the trunk (la...
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