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?


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
Not Yet Rated

Monday - March 22, 2010

From: Austin, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Wildflower Center, Shrubs, Trees
Title: When does Ziziphus obtusifolia leaf and flower in Austin?
Answered by: Barbara Medford


Hello Mr. S.P., Do you know when the Texas buckthorn, Ziziphus obtusifolia (I believe), flowers (and leafs out) in Austin? Is there one at the Wildflower Center?


According to our Native Plant Database, Ziziphus obtusifolia (lotebush) flowers yellow or green in March and April. While we found no information on the leafing out time, this article on the plant from the Texas Native Plant Database (Texas A&M) refers to its growing season as being from May through September, so you could assume that the leaves would appear by May, if not sooner. Many plants begin to flower before they leaf out, such as Cercis canadensis var. texensis (Texas redbud), which is blooming now, in mid-March, in Central Texas. Lotebush is found growing naturally in numerous counties in West and Central Texas, but not in East Texas. From the page on this plant in our Native Plant Database, we extracted this information:

From the National Organizations Directory

According to the species list provided by Affiliate Organizations, this plant is on display at the following locations:

Texas Parks and Wildlife Department - Austin, TX
Fredericksburg Nature Center - Fredericksburg, TX
Sibley Nature Center - Midland, TX


From the Image Gallery

Ziziphus obtusifolia

Ziziphus obtusifolia

Ziziphus obtusifolia

More Wildflower Center Questions

Source for Crushed Limestone Used at the Wildflower Center
July 01, 2011 - Dear Mr. Smarty plants, Do you know where I can find the pulverized limestone that you have at the entrance around the front of the building? It's right around where you have Clematis texensi...
view the full question and answer

Source for Signs at the Wildflower Center
January 24, 2011 - Hello. Where can we buy the black, metallic plant identification tags used at the Wildflower Center? Thanks in advance.
view the full question and answer

Information on green roof demonstration site at Wildflower Center
March 10, 2006 - I visited your green roof demonstration site and am interested in putting a green roof on a structure. There seemed to be at least two layers of growing medium in the planters; one layer looked like r...
view the full question and answer

Sale of plants at the Wildflower Center
March 20, 2004 - Does the Wildflower Center sell plants?
view the full question and answer

Name five non-flowering species at the Wildflower Center.
April 30, 2010 - Can you tell me the names of five non-flowering plant species (true mosses, conifers, ferns) currently growing at your center?
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.
© 2015 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center