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

Tuesday - August 23, 2011

From: Golden, CO
Region: Rocky Mountain
Topic: Plant Identification, Trees
Title: Average lifespan of Pinchot's Juniper from Golden CO
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

What is the average lifespan of Juniperus coahuilensis (syn. Juniperus texensis) trees?

ANSWER:

Neither the names Juniperus coahuilensis, redberry juniper,  nor Juniperus texensis appear in our Native Plant Database. However, further search online in the USDA Plant Database did provide the fact that it is, indeed, native to North America. Our Native Plant Database is an ongoing work in progress, and this will probably get added someday. However, in further search, we found several scholarly articles on Juniperus coahuilensis, including this one from treesofnorthamerica.net. The major problem in getting precise facts about this tree is that it grows in areas where it apparently interbreeds with other closely related junipers.

Digging a little further, we searched on Juniperus texensis, and learned that is a synonym for Juniperus pinchotii (Pinchot's juniper), which is in our Native Plant Database. By following that link to our page on Pinchot's Juniper, which read, we learned that is also referred to as "redberry juniper" as is the J. coahuilensis. 

From the Gymnosperm Database, we found the only reference to age, on Juniperus pinchotii (Pinchot's juniper).

"Oldest

Ages to 175 years have been reported from isolated buttes in Garza County, Texas (Ellis and Schuster 1968, Mullins and Mitchell 1996)."

Unhappily, the answer to your question about average age is-we don't know and can't find out. We can say, from our research, that other members of the Juniperus family do live longer, up to 300 years, but very little research on tree age, especially in the remote areas in which these trees grow, means there just isn't any data to even use in making averages. Looking at the one figure we have, 175 years being the oldest, we would guess whichever of these junipers is the tree you are asking about would have an average age of about 100 years. This is purely a Mr. Smarty Plants guess, no quoting us in scholarly papers or using it to answer an exam question.

 


 

From the Image Gallery


Pinchot's juniper
Juniperus pinchotii

Pinchot's juniper
Juniperus pinchotii

Pinchot's juniper
Juniperus pinchotii

More Plant Identification Questions

Plants indigenous to Sedona, AZ
July 07, 2010 - I live in Sedona AZ and I want to plant indigenous plants in my garden. Is there a list of AZ native plants shrubs and trees that are indigenous to Sedona? If there is no list that is specific f...
view the full question and answer

Plant identification
August 24, 2008 - Please help us identify a woodland plant whose fruiting stem looks very similar to a corncob stuck into the ground, pointy end up. It sticks up about 4-5" above the ground. The largish pale yellow fr...
view the full question and answer

Plant ID by pictures from Boise ID
May 01, 2014 - DEAR WILDFLOWER CENTER, TOOK SOME PICTURES A WEEK AGO--THE BOISE BOTANICAL GARDEN IDENTIFIED THE HENBIT BUT COULDN'T IDENTIFY THE REDDISH CYLINDRICAL FLOWERS IN PHOTO #4--CAN YOU HELP? YOU CAN FIND...
view the full question and answer

Plant identification
June 27, 2008 - A friend brought back pictures of plants from a recent trip which included the center. It didn't have an identification sign on it and no one was around at that moment for him to ask. I can send th...
view the full question and answer

Plant ID from Richardson TX
May 24, 2014 - Need to send a pic for id.
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