En Español

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

Return to original color of non-native crape myrtles in Henderson, TX
July 17, 2009 - Mr. Smarty Plants, I bought 3 Dynamite Crape Myrtles that were about 3 -4 feet tall (at Lowe's). In the late Spring, I planted 2 of them about 100 feet apart, in full sun, and left the other one in...
view the full question and answer

Plant identification
February 20, 2014 - I'm not sure of county of origin. It was given to me by someone I no longer have contact with. When I initially received it I thought it was just a small potted vine of some type. I've had it a yea...
view the full question and answer

Native plants for shade in Ennis TX
August 26, 2011 - My house faces south. The southwest side of the front yard has a Pride of Houston, Japanese Barberry, 2 crape myrtles and some dwarf yaupon hollies. The other section, divided by a stairway to the p...
view the full question and answer

Mulching vegetables with straw
June 13, 2007 - I have a small garden with 4 different veggies, tomatoes, hot peppers, squash & cucumbers. which plants is it OK to put straw under? which plants will straw hurt the stalks or other possibilities? tha...
view the full question and answer

Distribution of Non-Native Royal Empress Tree
August 23, 2007 - I was wondering if you could give me the statistics for the Royal Empress Tree in the Long Island area. I have two and have read numerous articles online regarding them being invasive through the root...
view the full question and answer

Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.
E-NEWSLETTER | BECOME A MEMBER | DONATE NOW | MEDIA | JOBS | SITEMAP | STAFF INTRANET
© 2016 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center