Explore Plants

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
    
 

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

Sunday - May 16, 2010

From: Buckeye, AZ
Region: Southwest
Topic: Non-Natives, Edible Plants, Trees
Title: Fruit trees for Buckeye AZ
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

I am moving to Buckeye Az from Utah and would like to know what type of fruit trees I can grow. Thanks!

ANSWER:

With the exception of a few members of the Prunus species, which grow wild in North America, most of the "food" plants, like fruits and vegetables, that you would ordinarily find in a grocery store, are not native to North America. The Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center is dedicated to the use, protection and propagation of plants native not only to North America but to the area in which they are being grown. The foods you find in your produce market are mostly native to other parts of the world, and/or have been so extensively hybridized their parentage would be unrecognizable.

There are two species of the Prunus genus native to Arizona. The first is Prunus americana (American plum). The plums are eaten fresh and used in jellies and preserves, and are also consumed by many kinds of birds. The other is Prunus emarginata (bitter cherry); as the common name indicates, the fruit is not edible.  The seeds of all Prunus species, found inside the fruits, contain poisonous substances and should never be eaten. In addition, the leaves, especially withered ones, twigs and branches are toxic, making it not a very good landscape tree.

So, since we can't help you, we suggest you contact the Arizona Cooperative Extension Office of Maricopa County, Arizona. Extension offices usually have lists of plants that do well in their area, including food plants, and do not restrict themselves to native plants. 

From our Native Plant Image Gallery:

 

 

 

 

More Non-Natives Questions

Nativity of Salvia coccinea (scarlet sage)
September 14, 2011 - Is Salvia coccinea native to Florida? In wikipedia they say it is native to Mexico.
view the full question and answer

Pruning non-native oleanders
September 28, 2011 - I have an oleander that has become to "leggy". I read the pruning instructions, but where I want to prune, there are not any leaf nodes. Can I trim below at the base, or will I hurt the plant? I ...
view the full question and answer

Firecracker plants not growing in Ft. Worth
June 09, 2010 - I live in Fort Worth, TX and last fall planted several firecracker plants. It's now June and they're not growing. How can I tell if they are still alive?
view the full question and answer

Yellowing leaves on non-native globe willow in Las Cruces, NM
June 26, 2010 - I live in Las Cruces, NM. I have a good size globe willow tree. The leaves are turning yellow and brown dryness at tips and leaves are falling off. Does it just need water?
view the full question and answer

Micro clover for groundcover
March 10, 2012 - Hi there! I am interested in overseeding my lawn with a micro clover mix.. however, I cannot find any information on the web about how it might act here in Central Texas. Do you have any experience wi...
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.