Rent Shop Volunteer Join

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

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
1 rating

Thursday - March 25, 2010

From: Austin, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Trees
Title: Which is best-Oklahoma Redbud or Texas Redbud in Austin?
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

I live in Northwest Austin and would like to plant a small redbud tree in my front yard. My yard gets full sun. Which is better - the Texas redbud or the Oklahoma redbud?

ANSWER:

Cercis reniformis 'Oklahoma' (Oklahoma Redbud) is not in our Native Plant Database, but we can find no evidence that it is a hybrid, so that would count as a native tree. This USDA Forest Service site Cercis reniformis 'Oklahoma' gives the tree high marks, but is of the opinion that it not being grown very widely in the nursery trade, so you might have difficulty obtaining a tree to plant. Cercis canadensis var. texensis (Texas redbud) is, of course, the one generally available in the Austin area. Since we have not seen the 'Oklahoma' nor have any personal experience with it, about all we can do is share with you what we found, including the USDA Forest Service site above. This Backyard Gardener site says the plant is more commonly known as Cercis canadensis var. texensis (Texas redbud) 'Oklahoma," which would infer that some nursery retailers are just adding the 'Oklahoma' to enhance the sales appeal. In a case like that, it's a judgment call; if you can find a nursery (or nurseries) carrying each plant, you can personally inspect them for perceived differences. This is not a good time to plant the trees, anyway, as we will soon be in the very hot part of our year, and transplant shock is a major killer of new young trees. If you have the opportunity to visit the so-named trees over a period of time, that would give you a chance to compare not only the blooms (just now out in Austin) but the leaves and bark, and make your purchase in mid to late Fall for planting. 

Pictures of 'Oklahoma' from Google

Pictures of Cercis canadensis var. texensis (Texas redbud) from our Native Plant Image Gallery:


Cercis canadensis var. texensis

Cercis canadensis var. texensis

Cercis canadensis var. texensis

Cercis canadensis var. texensis

 

 

 

More Trees Questions

Watering a Chinquapin Oak in Austin, TX
June 22, 2014 - I have a question about watering. I planted a Chinquapin Oak about 7 months ago and it's about 8 feet tall and doing well. I water it weekly on a slow drip for about an hour. I expect that my job is ...
view the full question and answer

Failure to bud out of Shumard oaks in Floresville TX
April 16, 2010 - Question: I have a Shumard red oak (9-10ft tall) that I planted last October as its leaves were turning a brilliant red color. However, it's the only tree that did not bud this spring. I scraped t...
view the full question and answer

Watering live oak trees from McAllen TX
December 24, 2012 - What are the watering requirements for live oak trees in deep south Texas? How often and how many inches to be applied? One pop-up spray sprinkler spaced approximately fifteen feet away from each tr...
view the full question and answer

Lighting for the Wildflower Center from Austin
December 16, 2012 - Hello Mr Smarty, On a recent night trip to the Center, there was an oak that was beautifully lit for the holidays. It seemed to come from one ground light, but cast hundreds of glistening "stars"...
view the full question and answer

Conditions for growing Anacacho Orchid in Smithville TX
January 24, 2011 - What conditions (soil type, sun/shade, understory? etc.) to grow a healthy Anacacho Orchid tree? And what is the best size tree to plant?
view the full question and answer

Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.