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
1 rating

Monday - May 10, 2010

From: Edinburg, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Trees
Title: Can Texas Ebony seed pods be used as mulch in Edinburg TX
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

I just bought a house with two large Texas ebony trees out front. I read somewhere that the seed pods could be used as mulch? Is this true? If so, would I need to remove the seeds from the pods first? If they can't be used as mulch, any other good ideas for them? I'll have plenty!

ANSWER:

Ebenopsis ebano (Texas ebony) is, indeed, a native to South Texas and in our Native Plant Database.  Here is some information and pictures from Arid Zone Trees. From Arizona WildFlowers, we extracted this information: "In Mexico, the seeds from the pods are eaten, and the black wood shells are roasted as a coffee substitute." We would assume, then, that there is nothing poisonous about the pods or the seeds, so using the pods as a mulch should be okay, since we found no information to the contrary. We think it would be well to remove the seeds from the pods, if you don't want little treelets popping up all around. 

From our Native Plant Image Gallery: 


Ebenopsis ebano

Ebenopsis ebano

Ebenopsis ebano

Ebenopsis ebano

 

 

 

 

More Trees Questions

Brown circular ring in trimmed branches of redbud tree
January 22, 2009 - I have a redbud tree that was recently trimed back. When looking at the cross section of the branches, I noticed a brown circular ring. Is this a problem and if so what can I do to correct it?
view the full question and answer

Coconut in a husk from Round Rock TX
January 26, 2011 - Looking for a coconut in its complete husk ?
view the full question and answer

Need a drought resistant, maintenance free tree in Thomasville, GA.
April 20, 2012 - I have been through many tree forums and asked several nurseries about a good tree to plant but nobody has provided an adequate answer and I hope you can help. I live in SW Georgia (Zone 8) and need ...
view the full question and answer

Fast growing shade tree for East Texas Piney Woods
April 11, 2013 - What is the fastest growing shade tree for E.Tx.Piney Woods? We have an area that desperately needs protection from the summer heat. The site is comprised of gumbo clay and there are no other plants t...
view the full question and answer

Are magnolia trees toxic for dogs?
February 05, 2014 - Del Mar, California- are magnolia trees, (their bark, roots, pods) toxic to small dogs? My Westie terriers are exhibiting lack of appetite and diarrea this late winter. Tonight I saw on our local n...
view the full question and answer

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