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?


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

Monday - October 04, 2010

From: Houston, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Seed and Plant Sources, Transplants, Trees
Title: Want a source for Mexican redbud in Houston, TX
Answered by: Marilyn Kircus


I live in west Houston and would like to purchase and plant a Mexican redbud in my yard. I have Googled to find one and also searched the Growit site without success. Where can I find one in Texas? I would like a 15 or 30 gallon tree.


What a great time to ask this question.  The Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center has Mexican redbud on the list of plants for the fall sale, which will be October 9-10 with a members-only sale on the afternoon of October 8.  However the tree will be small - probably either 1 or 5 gallons.

This tree is commonly used in the Texas Hill Country and further west.  So several hill country area nurseries carry it.

Madrone Nursery, a small family-owned grower, in San Marcos,  sells by appointment.  He has a 15-20 gal. 7' tree  listed here.

The Natural Gardener, in Austin, sometimes has them.

Barton Springs Nursery in Austin might have them. 

Here is a list of Austin Area Native Plant Nurseries. Besides the ones I've already listed, several of them have, or will have Mexican redbud trees.

Closer to home, you might contact Joshua's Native Plants in Houston. I'm not sure that he carries it, but he may have a supplier from whom he could order it for you.

And finally, I clicked on the Supplier list under the Explore Plants tab on the wildflower's webpage and got this list of  Houston area native plant sellers that have registered with the center.

Cercis canadensis var. mexicana (Mexican redbud) is redbud that grows in the driest circumstances. That is why it naturally grows in west Texas and you are not finding it locally. Cercis canadensis var. texensis (Texas redbud) grows in the hill country of Texas.  Check out the description of Cercis canadensis var.  anadensis (Eastern redbud) for a discussion on all three species. Both Texas and Mexican redbuds need very well drained soil and lots fewer inches of rain than Houston gets.  So be sure to amend the soil with decomposed granite or limestone, (or another rock-based amendment) plant on a mound, and don't add compost to the soil.  The soil also needs to be alkaline.  East Houston has acid soils and the rest is alkaline. You might also consider starting with a smaller tree.  I think that smaller trees can adapt better to being out of their native soils and you won't be out so much money if it drowns in Houston gumbo.


Cercis canadensis var. mexicana


Cercis canadensis var. texensis





















More Seed and Plant Sources Questions

Need source of Texas Madrone seeds or seedlings in Kissimmee FL.
March 05, 2010 - Where can I can purchase seeds or seedlings for a Texas Madrone Tree? I appreciate your help. Thank you,
view the full question and answer

Source for Dryopteris Filix-max Rhizomes in East Hanover NJ
June 15, 2009 - We are in search for 100kg Dryopteris Filix-mas (Male Fern) Rhizomes to extract oil Kindly send your offer
view the full question and answer

Sources for cedar and Texas sedge seeds in Central Texas
December 27, 2008 - Where can I buy cedar and Texas sedge seeds in the central Texas area? What will be the cost? I have found a few nurseries who sell 4 inch pots, but that is very costly for the size of area I want to ...
view the full question and answer

Source for non-native Crown of Thorns from Bulverde TX
May 04, 2013 - Can you please tell me where I can buy a Crown of Thorns plant in or near Bulverde, Tx.
view the full question and answer

Recommendations for a slope in Margaretville, NY
April 21, 2010 - Mr. Smarty Plants, We really love all of your ideas on our 60 degree bank needing plants to keep the topsoil in place. The grasses you suggested are beautiful!!!! They will look incredible against the...
view the full question and answer

Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.
© 2015 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center