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
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

Drought affecting non-native Zoysia grass in Austin
November 06, 2011 - Due to the extreme drought here in Austin this year and the watering restrictions our Zoysia lawn has suffered and appears to be dead in many areas of our lawn. Will it come back? Is there anything w...
view the full question and answer

Problems with tomatoes in tubs in Campbellton, TX
May 30, 2009 - I have my tomatoes planted in big black plastic tubs, they are starting to wilt and dry up. I have put Sevin dust on them for bugs. I haven't been over watering. Could you please tell me why they are...
view the full question and answer

Pruning of frost-damaged non-native Sago Palms in Marble Falls TX
April 18, 2010 - I have several large Sago Palms that have partial frost damage, they are part green and part brown fronds. Should I remove the brown leaves? the center of the leaf is green.
view the full question and answer

Care for non-native plumeria in Inverness FL
October 05, 2009 - I have several plumeria plants that I planted in the ground this spring. I will soon need to dig them up and store them in the garage for the winter, as I left some last year that died with the frost...
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

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