En EspaŅol
Share

Ask Mr. Smarty Plants

Mr. Smarty Plants - Freeze damage to dwarf Barbados Cherry in Austin

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
1 rating

Friday - April 23, 2010

From: Austin, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Shrubs
Title: Freeze damage to dwarf Barbados Cherry in Austin
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

This past winter was colder than usual here, in the southwestern outskirts of Austin, but I am surprised that my established Dwarf Barbados Cherry, on the south side of my house froze completely to the ground. There is a little green sprig that has come out at its base, but sadly, the rest of the beautiful shrub has had to be removed. I hope that it can grow out again! Is the dwarf variety less hardy than the standard size? Thank you!

ANSWER:

This USDA Plant Profile shows that Malpighia glabra (wild crapemyrtle) does indeed grow in Travis County, although is not shown as growing in any other of the counties around here. In this article from the Fort Bend Master Gardeners, Dwarf Barbados Cherry, we learned that it is considered just a smaller selection, 3 to 4 ft., of the regular plant, which can grow 9 to 12 ft. Here is an excerpt from this article: "Ornamentally, it is considered a very desirable small shrub for gardens south of Austin." Another source named a selection 'Nana' as being a dwarf version. However, it is not considered hardy north of Zone 9; Austin is in Zone 8a. As the dwarf is not really a "cultivar" (cultivated variety), but a selection, it should have no different hardiness from the standard plant. Since you do have a green sprig, we believe it will grow back, but it will be a slow process, and there will always be the threat of dieback again in another hard Austin winter. 

From our Native Plant Image Gallery:


Malpighia glabra

Malpighia glabra

Malpighia glabra

Malpighia glabra

 

 

 

More Shrubs Questions

Why is my yaupon tree not producing berries in Metairie La?
November 04, 2009 - What is the lifespan of a Yaupon Tree? We live in Louisiana, and our Yaupon would always get the white flowers in the Spring but never the red berries. Why is that?
view the full question and answer

Screening Shrub for Lubbock TX
April 08, 2012 - I am a landscape architecture student at Texas Tech University and am looking for a drought tolerant shrub to be used for screening a water well area. The location is the northwest corner of a yard wi...
view the full question and answer

Need suggestions for trees to withstand high winds on Top Sail Island, North Caroloina.
August 20, 2013 - Moving to coastal southern North Carolina. Planting native trees and shrubs, wax bayberry, Redbud, love the River Birch. What type of tree has the deepest roots or would be least likely to blow over...
view the full question and answer

Inadvisability of introducing American Beautyberry to Michigan
November 25, 2005 - I recently brought back to Michigan from Florida 2 young beauty berry plants. I currently have them in a pot inside my home. They are growing quite well, and show a hearty appearance. What are th...
view the full question and answer

Groundcovers over roots in Roeland Park KS
June 18, 2013 - Large Hackberry tree (aprox 50+years) roots are popping up above ground making mowing under/around it impossible. Is there a plant, ground cover, something I can plant, or cover the roots with that w...
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