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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 - November 22, 2010

From: Woodlands, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Trees
Title: Looking for a native mulberry tree for Woodlands, TX.
Answered by: Jimmy Mills

QUESTION:

Does a truly "native" mulberry tree exist and where can one get such a tree. So many I've seen are "white" or "chinese" and were imported for a never-to-happen silk industry. I'd like to purchase several for migrating birds, but would like to plant native.

ANSWER:

There are two mulberry tree species that are native to the United States. One is Morus microphylla (Littleleaf mulberry) whose distribution is restricted to Texas, Okalahoma, New Mexico and Arizona. The more widespread species is Morus rubra (Red mulberry). This Plants Profile page from the USDA has a distribution map that shows its range from Texas eastward to the Atlantic coast and northward into Canada. If you click on the Texas map you can see that it occurs in several of the counties adjacent to Montgomery County.

The links below will give more information about the red Mulberry

US Forest Service  General information about the Red Mulberry.

California Rare Fruit Growers, Inc. General Information plus descriptions of cultivars.

Vanderbilt University   Images of the major features of the tree.

To locate red mulberry trees for sale, go to our Suppliers Directory and type in the name of your town (Woodlands doesn't work, but Houston does). You will get a list of nearby businesses in the area that sell native plants along with contact information.

 

 

 

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