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
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

Selecting a tree for a backyard in San Antonio, TX
May 11, 2013 - Hello Mr. Smarty Plants, I recently moved into a home in West San Antonio right outside Loop 1604..my treeless backyard is fairly small at about 55 ft long and 15 ft wide. I am torn because I can't ...
view the full question and answer

Suckers from Oak Tree Roots in Austin
May 17, 2013 - Hi. I am a home owner in Austin TX with several live oak trees. We love them and want to keep them healthy. We have a nice landscape in the back yard and Iím wondering if you can answer a quest...
view the full question and answer

Pruning Trees in Austin, TX
April 05, 2013 - I have lots of green growth sprouting on the trunks of mature trees. Should I trim them off?
view the full question and answer

Stressed Texas persimmon, Diospyros texana
September 12, 2009 - I planted a 5' Texas Persimmon last May..it is watered by drip irrigation and has done well, putting on lots of new leaves and looking healthy as can be. That is, until several days ago when it began...
view the full question and answer

How can I tell the age of a Pecan tree in Rosenberg, TX?
September 03, 2010 - How can I tell the age of a Pecan tree? I live on the Brazos River and have a lot of large Pecan trees but the largest is approx. 11 ft. around.
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