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
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:


Prunus americana

Prunus emarginata

 

 

 

 

More Non-Natives Questions

Plants to grow under elm tree in Amarillo TX
May 01, 2014 - I have a large elm tree and I can't get seem to get anything to grow under it. I was wondering if there are any shade-loving groundcovers that you would recommend (have tried English Ivy, hostas, an...
view the full question and answer

Identification of spiky red berry in Connecticut
September 25, 2011 - I found an odd berry outside of my school, none of the science teachers know what it is though. It kind of looks like a spiked cherry. It has spikes on the outside, a pit on the insde, and has pinkish...
view the full question and answer

Care for 'Winchester' honeysuckle?
June 05, 2009 - I have a Winchester honeysuckle that is now in full bloom. Do I "deadhead" the blooms after they die off?
view the full question and answer

Plant Care for Plumeria
October 15, 2005 - I have a plumeria that is getting too tall for my small patio. How I should cut it back and can start the cuttings into new plants? Does the original plant need any special care when it is cut back?
view the full question and answer

Plant replacements for non-native invasives in Austin, TX
April 20, 2007 - I live in Austin, TX, I have a large lot and small house. I want to do some selective planting on the back half of my lot. Currently there are large live oaks, cedar elm. hackberry, cedar, Texas persi...
view the full question and answer

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