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
Not Yet Rated

Tuesday - May 04, 2010

From: Ovilla, TX
Region: Select Region
Topic: Plant Identification
Title: Identification of tree in Ovilla TX area
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

Can you identify a tall,(wild?) tree covered with fragrant, pink/lavender blooms? Have seen several in the Ovilla area this spring.

ANSWER:

You will need to first look at the areas where the trees are blooming, and see if they are in Sun (6 or more hours of sun a day), Part Shade (2 to 6 hours of sun daily) or Shade (less than 2 hours of sun). 

Let us introduce you to an exercise called "Combination Search".  Go to our Native Plant Database  and scroll down to the Combination Search window. Select Texas under Select State, Tree under Habit.  Under Light Requirement, check Part Shade or Shade (whichever applies); under Bloom, check May for when blooms appear and both pink and purple under flower color. Click the "Submit combination Search" button and you will get a list of plants from our NPIN data base with images  that match these characteristics. By clicking on the name of each plant, you will pull up its NPIN page that contains descriptions of the plants along with growth requirements as well as more images. You can generate other lists by changing the choice in the categories.

When we tried this out, without specifying the amount of sun available, we got 19 possibilities. It's always possible, especially in an urbanized area, that the trees you are seeing are escaped non-natives that were in gardens but were planted in wild areas by birds or even the wind. If so, they will not be in our Native Plant Database.  If you can get some pictures of the tree, the bark, the blooms and the leaves, you can submit it to our Plant Identification site with as much description of conditions as you can get. Then, we'll take a crack at figuring out what you have been seeing. 

 

More Plant Identification Questions

Identity of 50 ft. tree
May 20, 2008 - I live in Austin and I have a tall (50-ft) tree outside my window. It's deciduous and has shiny, deep green, spear-tip, serrated leaves that vary in size from about hand- to dinner-plate size. I've ...
view the full question and answer

Need an ID on a wisteria in Austin
October 12, 2010 - I bought a different type wisteria several years ago, before I started trying to grow native plants. It is the same type wisteria as the one planted at Threadgills on Barton Springs Road, Austin, TX....
view the full question and answer

ID for Dill-like weed
February 12, 2009 - I live in Richmond,VA.and have a man made dam for a pond fed by several springs. There's a scruffy weed that looks like dill weed when it emerges in the spring but is so tough that I can't pull it u...
view the full question and answer

What are the pines growing at South Padre Island, Texas
November 20, 2011 - Hi, On a recent trip to South Padre Island, we noticed a large number of beautiful long leaf pines. I asked several residents what the name was but no one knew. I have searched and googled trying...
view the full question and answer

Giant Thistle-Like Plant from Elgin, TX
June 01, 2014 - I have a giant thistle like plant in my field we have been unable to identify. It looks like a milk thistle but it is short..only about a foot tall..stocky...and the flowers are giant..about 6 to 8 i...
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 | SITEMAP | STAFF
© 2016 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center