En EspaŅol

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
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

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

Need for smaller tree with less invasive roots from Ft. Worth TX
June 07, 2014 - The sycamore in the front yard has developed roots larger than the branches. They have decided that the water and sewer lines are perfect to acquire their water from. For this reason it will be coming...
view the full question and answer

Evergreen low litter tree for Surprise AZ
March 19, 2010 - Looking for a shade tree about 10-15 ft max with low litter and green all year round/full sun.
view the full question and answer

Young Maple Dropping Leaves in Late Summer
September 05, 2013 - I have a 6-year-old maple tree. I'm not sure what type it is as the builder planted it. It is as tall as our two-story house and very healthy. It's the biggest tree in our neighborhood because we fe...
view the full question and answer

Black walnut herbivory
June 13, 2005 - We moved to Texas just about a year ago and have loved it here. This past January we visited the Wildflower Center and obtained some black walnut seeds. Up until last night the tree was doing well p...
view the full question and answer

Control of live oak suckers by cutting
July 23, 2007 - How do I control the Live Oak root suckers? At the moment we are cutting them as they come out of the ground.
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 | STAFF
© 2015 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center