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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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Monday - March 28, 2011

From: Austin, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Plant Identification
Title: Identification of plant along Austin's Hike 'n' Bike Trail
Answered by: Nan Hampton

QUESTION:

Can you identify the tall (5-6 feet) lanky woody shrub which is growing on the south side of the Hike'n'Bike Trail in Austin? It is in a small garden, adopted by Maggie and Karl Key, near the new pedestrian bridge. In November 2010 the fragrance of the spiky white flowers was overwhelmingly sweet. When I walked by the site in mid-December 2010 the plant still had leaves and someone had decorated it for Christmas. Leaves gone by Jan 2011. It looks like a buddleia but not sure. Have pictures but don't know how to send. Thanks.

ANSWER:

This sounds like Eysenhardtia texana (Texas kidneywood) , a reasonably common native shrub to the south and the west of Austin.  Our Native Plant Database says that it blooms from May to October and it is certainly fragrant when it blooms.   It does look a bit like a white buddleiaBrush & Weeds of Texas Rangelands from Texas A&M AgriLife Extension says it blooms April to November.  Here are photos from UT's Archive of Central Texas Plants and photos and more information from The Great Austin Tree Roundup.

Here are photos from our Image Gallery:


Eysenhardtia texana


Eysenhardtia texana


Eysenhardtia texana


Eysenhardtia texana

 

 


 

 

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