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?

Share

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 - April 24, 2011

From: Katy, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Shrubs
Title: HOA chopping down wax myrtles from Katy TX
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

My local HOA just chopped down 80+ wax myrtles saying that they lived out their life span..they are roughly 18-20 years old..is there a species of wax myrtles that lives only 20 years..or did they confuse mature maximum height and lifespan?

ANSWER:

There are 4 species of the genus Morella listed in our Native Plant Database. The one that is probably in your area is Morella cerifera (Wax myrtle). The others, found more commonly in other parts of the country, are: Morella californica (California wax myrtle), Morella caroliniensis (Southern bayberry) and Morella pensylvanica (Northern bayberry). We looked at a lot of papers and articles about these plants, and not a single one mentioned anything about expected age of decline, or maturity. All mentioned heights, but they were all over everywhere, ranging from 3 to 40 ft. tall.

We really don't know what the reason was for cutting down the wax myrtles. Without being able to see them, we could hardly know if there was disease or insect damage.

 

More Shrubs Questions

Possible source for seeds of American beautyberry and Eastern sweetshrub
March 23, 2010 - I have a nursery growing native plants in North Carolina. I would like to find a source to purchase seed for the white berried American beauty berry and Calycanthus floridus athens, can you suggest a ...
view the full question and answer

Bumelia sending up shoots in Austin
November 28, 2010 - I have a bumelia that is sending up shooters everywhere in my yard. Everywhere!! I started to dig them up, but many come from deep roots and my digging seems to have encouraged the tree to send up m...
view the full question and answer

Inadvisability of introducing American Beautyberry to Michigan
November 25, 2005 - I recently brought back to Michigan from Florida 2 young beauty berry plants. I currently have them in a pot inside my home. They are growing quite well, and show a hearty appearance. What are th...
view the full question and answer

Desert Willow size question from Austin, TX
June 12, 2015 - Dear MSP, I have a desert willow named Edith. We got her from the CoA a couple of years ago for recycling our Chirstmas tree. She's doing well except her three little trunks are teeny-tiny. We wan...
view the full question and answer

Winter-interest plants in Wynnewood PA
July 11, 2010 - Could you please suggest flowering plants that provide winter interest after drying out (ie with seed pods or interesting dried flower heads)? I'm looking for something that grows in full sun. Thank ...
view the full question and answer

Smarty Plants's Facebook profile Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.

Mr. Smarty Plants wants you to be his Facebook friend. Click the Facebook icon to add yourself to Mr. Smarty Plants list of friends.
E-NEWSLETTER | BECOME A MEMBER | DONATE NOW | MEDIA | SITEMAP | STAFF
© 2015 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center