En Español

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?


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

Please forgive us, but Mr. Smarty Plants has been overwhelmed by a flood of mail and must take a break for awhile to catch up. We hope to be accepting new questions again soon. Thank you!

Need help with plant identification, visit the plant identification page.

rate this answer
2 ratings

Saturday - March 13, 2010

From: New Milton, WV
Region: Mid-Atlantic
Topic: Edible Plants
Title: Fruit trees for West Virginia
Answered by: Anne Bossart


What kinds of fruit trees would grow best in West Virginia? I assume apple trees would, but what kind of apple tree and are there any others that would grow well?


Unfortunately, you have come to the wrong place.  The Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower is devoted to the care, propagation and protection of plants native to North America and specifically to the area where they originated. Most fruit trees are so heavily hybridized that they no longer really qualify as native plants, plus most of them also originated in areas other than North America.  Apples, for instance, are native to Central Asia, even though we now think of them as American as "baseball, hot dogs and Chevrolet".

Your county agricultural extension service is your best resource for this kind of help. As a matter of fact, that is what they are mandated to do.  They will have advice on plant choices and cultivation techniques.

That is not to say that there are no fruit bearing trees and shrubs native to West Virginia.  If you visit our Native Plant Database and do a Combination Search for trees and shrubs for West Virginia, you will find fruit bearing plants that are more traditional. Such as:

Amelanchier canadensis (Canadian serviceberry)

Asimina triloba (pawpaw)

Prunus americana (American plum)

Sambucus racemosa (red elderberry)

Amelanchier canadensis

Asimina triloba

Prunus americana

Sambucus racemosa










More Edible Plants Questions

Identity of wild plum in Childress County, Texas
March 16, 2015 - I have a Wild Plum follow up question. My wife grew up around the Childress TX area. She remembers going around the creeks and gathering Wild Plums for her mother as a child. Would you have any ide...
view the full question and answer

Edibility of non-native garlic sprouts from Brancburg, NJ
March 12, 2013 - I have regular garlic in my refrigerator. It had sprouts growing out of it so I put it in a cup of water. Now that the stems are large enough to put in food, my question is.. Is that part of the garl...
view the full question and answer

Spots on non-native naval orange trees from Stockton CA
October 20, 2012 - I have two mature Navel Orange trees. One tree has developed spotty chlorophyl depleted areas that were not on the oranges when they were smaller. In addition, the oranges on both trees are smaller ,...
view the full question and answer

A Bounty of Edibles for New Braunfels Texas
October 25, 2013 - I was hoping you could suggest a few plants that would serve several purposes. I live in New Braunfels, TX and would like to incorporate as many drought tolerant plants which would support birds, but...
view the full question and answer

Information about mustang grapes
March 14, 2016 - We live in the Driftwood area. There is a native vine that looks like Mustang grape but never produces. A friend who is native to this area called it rat vine. I miss my Mustang grape jelly. Is t...
view the full question and answer

Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.
© 2016 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center