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

Sunday - November 07, 2010

From: Austin, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Trees
Title: Small flowering tree for cemetery in TX
Answered by: Anne Bossart


I am looking for a native large shrub or small tree to plant at a cemetery in Pflugerville, TX, preferable something with flowers. I need something that won't have a large root system that would disturb caskets or tombstone. Would an anacacho orchid be a good choice? If not, what would you suggest.


According to our Native Plant Database, Texas is the only US state where  Bauhinia lunarioides (Anacacho orchid tree) is native and it will grow to  height of 6-12 feet at maturity.

It seems to me, that it would be a fitting tribute and a suitable plant in a Texas cemetery.  It has a graceful form and delicate leaves.  It flowers generously in spring and then sporadically thorughout the rest of the growing season (there is one at the Wildflower Center that has blooms on it now).

Seeing as the tree is relatively small and root systems are in balance with the tree they must support,  there is no need for concern about the roots; assuming you have verified that planting trees in the cemetery is permitted. 

Despite its delicate appearance, it is a tough little tree.  It will need to be watered until it is established but do not fertilize it.

Bauhinia lunarioides

Bauhinia lunarioides







More Trees Questions

Toxicity of catalpa wood?
June 05, 2012 - Is the sawdust from cutting up a catalpa tree or the smoke from burning the wood toxic? Thank you,
view the full question and answer

Tree that successfully treats psoriasis
January 31, 2009 - Dear Mr. Smarty plants,I have a rather unusual question. Do you know of a tree/plant that you can grow in a container, looks like a conifer/evergreen, is green, has wispy looking branches, but when t...
view the full question and answer

Problem with oak trees in Mansfield, Texas
September 26, 2010 - We have lost 2 large oaks last year & now another is nearly gone. It has several large patches of missing bark - beneath a thin layer of skin-like membrane that seemed to separate it from the bark i...
view the full question and answer

What plants grow well in Athens, TX?
January 18, 2011 - Athens, Texas, we have very sandy soil mixed with clay, what plants grow well here?
view the full question and answer

Yellowing leaves on young bur oak
August 06, 2007 - I saw your response on 7/25 about leaves on mature live oaks turning yellow, then brown because of excessive rain. The same thing is happening to our young burr oak. Leaves are turning yellowish, th...
view the full question and answer

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