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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.

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Ask Mr. Smarty Plants is a free service provided by the staff and volunteers at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center.

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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!

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Monday - October 11, 2010

From: Austin, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Non-Natives
Title: Will the non-native tamarind tree survive in Austin?
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

We live in the Texas Hill Country and we were given a Tamarind Tree as a gift (which the givers thought was a Pride of Barbados). Is it advisable to plant this in the ground, since it is sensitive to freezing? Will it survive in our climate?

ANSWER:

Tamarindus indica, Tamarind Tree, is native to Africa and therefore out of our field of expertise, which is plants native to North America. This Purdue University Horticulture site has a lot of information about this tree, including that it gets very large, in which case it is probably not suitable for a residential lot. This article from Floridata says that it is hardy to USDA Hardiness Zones 10-11. Since Austin is generally considered Zone 8b, its survival, especially in some of our "surprise" winters, is chancy.

 

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