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
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

Seasoning oak for burning
December 18, 2008 - I have an oak on my property that has been dead for at least two years. It has produced no leaves. When I cut it down (it was 93 inches around), it looked extremely healthy. We split it up and my f...
view the full question and answer

Oak leaf hydrangeas from Edwardsville IL
August 13, 2012 - Hello, I live in West Central Illinois (across the river from St. Louis) and I am considering planting several Oak leaf Hydrangea's in my yard. The location where I would like to plant them is und...
view the full question and answer

Sprouts from Sabal palmetto in Charleston SC
July 23, 2010 - I live in SC and have several palm trees (our state tree and symbol). The trees are wonderful, but my situation concerns the many, many sprouts that appear in the flower beds around the trees? Is the...
view the full question and answer

Need suggestions for trees to withstand high winds on Top Sail Island, North Caroloina.
August 20, 2013 - Moving to coastal southern North Carolina. Planting native trees and shrubs, wax bayberry, Redbud, love the River Birch. What type of tree has the deepest roots or would be least likely to blow over...
view the full question and answer

Denying cows access to flowers through fence
March 20, 2008 - What flowers can I plant that cows will not eat? They stick their heads through the fence and eat anything they can reach. I would like to plant something in the fence row that will not hurt the cows...
view the full question and answer

Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.
E-NEWSLETTER | BECOME A MEMBER | DONATE NOW | MEDIA | SITEMAP | STAFF
© 2016 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center