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
2 ratings

Tuesday - May 04, 2010

From: Austin, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Non-Natives
Title: Best for Austin-non-native loquat or kumquat?
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

I was wondering which tree is suited better in the Austin,TX, area, the Loquat or the Kumquat, do they lose their leaves in the winter and do they bear fruits?

ANSWER:

You will get answers to some of your questions on the Kumquat from this Floridata website Fortunella spp. It originated in southern China and is cultivated in sub-tropic areas. It is considered hardy from USDA Hardiness Zones 8 to 10; Austin is in Zone 8b.

Also from Floridata, this article on Loquat, Eriobotrya japonica, has the information that it is native to  southeastern China and Japan. It is hardy from Zones 7 to 10, but only bears fruit in frost-free areas.

As to which is best for the Austin area, you are the best judge of that. We, of course, would rather you planted trees native to Central Texas. The Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center is dedicated to the use, preservation and propagation of plants native not only to North America but to the area in which they are being grown. You will find there are very few food plants that are considered native. Not only are their origins often not in North America, but they have been hybridized or grafted so many times that their parentage would be unrecognizable. 

 

More Non-Natives Questions

Help with non-native plants in California
January 14, 2014 - I am growing some beads of pearl in my front yard in front of a pepper tree that has been around for over 150 years. My question is what can I do to get my beads of pearl to grow without cutting down ...
view the full question and answer

Care of non-native house plant, Pachira aquatica
October 14, 2007 - Mr. Smarty Plants, I have just bought a miniature money tree. I would like to plant it on a metal like decorative pot. What advice would you give me how to prevent the plant from getting any metal re...
view the full question and answer

Non-native hylocereus undatus for Austin
February 24, 2012 - Can we plant Hylocereus (Dragon Fruit) here in Austin, TX? We are going to have a large xeriscape bed and want to know what all we can put in it. We are new to Texas so we have no clue what grows here...
view the full question and answer

Thrips on non-native roses in Austin
June 11, 2009 - How can I get rid of thrips that have totally invaded all of my roses?
view the full question and answer

Non-native Paulownia tree roots around pool in Austin
May 13, 2010 - We live in Lakeway (basically Austin) and planted a Paulownia tree in our back yard. It is growing well. However, since we planted it a couple of years ago we have put in an in-ground pool. During th...
view the full question and answer

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