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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.

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Ask Mr. Smarty Plants is a free service provided by the staff and volunteers at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center.

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Wednesday - February 03, 2010

From: Austin, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Trees
Title: Anacacho orchid tree (Bauhinia lunarioides) and the freeze in Austin
Answered by: Nan Hampton

QUESTION:

I just wanted to say that your answer in today's Austin American-Statesman about recent freeze damage to Anacacho orchid trees was right on for ours as well. We're in north central Austin and all the leaves have now fallen off. The branches reach to nine or ten feet and it was planted about six or seven years ago. Apart from this being the first time it has lost all its leaves, it appears fine (the branch tips are still pliable and alive). It's been a profuse bloomer, so we're hopeful of a full recovery this spring.

ANSWER:

Thank you for your comments about our answer to the recent question about freezing temperatures and the Bauhinia lunarioides (Anacacho orchid tree).  It is definitely a good sign that the tips of the branches are still pliable and alive.  It is possible that you (and we) may lose a few branches, but my guess is that the majority of the Anacacho orchid trees will survive here.  Their natural range is actually south and west of the Austin area (see the USDA distribution map) but we do share the same USDA Hardiness Zone 8 of the natural distribution.

 

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