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
Not Yet Rated

Tuesday - January 03, 2006

From: Seattle, WA
Region: Northwest
Topic: Non-Natives
Title: Non-native acacias for Washington State
Answered by: Nan Hampton

QUESTION:

Hello! I have been unable to find any sources for the seed of Prairie Acacia, Acacia angustissima var hirta. Var angustissima, from tropical America, is in cultivation, but I think it is tender to cold, and it also happens to be a woody shrub, whereas the native form is more-or-less herbaceous. Do you know a source for US native Prairie Acacia? Much obliged for your time and effort!

ANSWER:

The National Suppliers Directory on Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center web page features seed companies and nurseries specializing in native plants. You can search by region or state. Many of the companies have internet addresses; however, none of the ones I visited in the distribution range (Arkansas, Arizona, Florida, Kansas, Louisiana, Missouri, New Mexico, Oklahoma, and Texas) for Prairie acacia (Acacia angustissima) listed it for sale. You might be able to find seeds by contacting by telephone the companies that do not list web page addresses.

Prairie acacia is native to North, Central and South America and the Caribbean, but it has been introduced into Africa and Asia to be grown as a forage plant for livestock. Its other uses include soil improvement by means of nitrogen fixation and traditional native medicinal treatments. Texas A&M lists its maximum cold hardiness as Zone 8 with minimum temperatures of 10-20 degrees F. Seattle does fall within hardiness Zone 8. However, Seattle is not in the distribution range for A. angustissima so it could be surmised that cold is not the limiting factor for its growth in the area. Additionally, even though Seattle is within Zone 8, the zones are based on average minimum temperatures and microclimates may exist within the zone that have a temperature too low to support the Acacia. The Wildflower Center discourages introducing plants into areas outside their known natural distribution. Our recommendation would be to substitute a plant that has Seattle within its native range. The Washington Native Plant Society has a list of Pacific Northwest Plants for Western Washington Gardens that offers alternatives.
 

More Non-Natives Questions

Native flowers of Italy from Glenwood Springs, CO
August 09, 2009 - My son is dating an Italian girl. Could you just tell me some native flowers of Italy, so he can send her some flowers?
view the full question and answer

Non-native genista racemosa from Leander TX
March 28, 2012 - Hello, Mr. Smarty Plants. I fear I've made a horrible purchase at a local plant place. Bought a "broom" plant--it's not listed in your database. Latin name: genista racemosa, according to tag. ...
view the full question and answer

Invasiveness of non-native Lonicera fragrantissima in Austin
November 21, 2004 - A couple of years ago I mistakenly bought Lonicera fragrantissima (winter bush honeysuckle), thinking it was native. I have since discovered that it is native to China and considered invasive...
view the full question and answer

Seeds of agave attenuata from San Diego CA
April 16, 2012 - After the agave attenuata bloom dried up there are seeds like thing hanging on the foxtail; do I leave it until it dies or do I chop that down. Are those seeds for propagation. The leaves of the plan...
view the full question and answer

Native alternatives for Japanese maple
September 05, 2007 - Hi, I am a landscaper trying to create a landscape in a shaded area with no sun. The person likes a Acer palmatum, but I am not sure it will grow there. We live in South Lake Tahoe. So I know of some ...
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.
E-NEWSLETTER | BECOME A MEMBER | DONATE NOW | MEDIA | SITEMAP
© 2014 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center