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 - November 20, 2011

From: Wimberley, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Plant Identification, Trees
Title: What are the pines growing at South Padre Island, Texas
Answered by: Nan Hampton

QUESTION:

Hi, On a recent trip to South Padre Island, we noticed a large number of beautiful long leaf pines. I asked several residents what the name was but no one knew. I have searched and googled trying to identify this tree, to no avail. I'm wondering if you know what it is and if so, will it grow in Wimberley TX.

ANSWER:

The USDA Plants Database shows no Pinus sp. (pines) growing naturally in Cameron, Kenedy, Kleberg, Nueces and Willacy Counties (the counties included in South Padre Island).   That doesn't mean that someone might not have planted pines at their business or home, but I suspect what you saw was not a true pine.  Searching on the internet I found a reference to Norfolk pines on South Padre Island.  I suspect that is what you were seeing— Araucaria heterophylla (Norfolk pine) or the related, Araucaria columnaris (Cook Island pine), both native to South Pacific islands.  If one of these is what you were seeing, it is not likely to thrive in Wimberley outdoors since they are considered tropical and sub-tropical species.  The recommended USDA Hardiness Zones are 10-11 for Norfolk pine and zones 9-11 for Cook Island pine; whereas, Wimberley is in Zone 8.   They are often sold as indoor plants and here is one version of how to care for an indoor Norfolk pine.

Additionally, we wouldn't recommend planting this tree outdoors in Wimberley because it is not native to North America and:

"The mission of the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center is to increase the sustainable use and conservation of native wildflowers, plants and landscapes."

 

More Trees Questions

Appropriate use of redbud from Austin
May 04, 2014 - I am considering purchasing a hearts of gold redbud; I am also xeriscaping my front yard. I live in Austin,TX. Will this tree do ok in full Tx sun (8+ hours) with once a week watering? If this...
view the full question and answer

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

Season to plant Pacific Wax Myrtle from Fallbrook CA
July 25, 2013 - Would like to know which season would be the best to plant Pacific Wax Myrtle in Fallbrook, CA area? I presently have invading bamboo, which I want to get rid of. Thank you!
view the full question and answer

Root suckers growing from base of oak in California
November 24, 2008 - I planted four trees labeled by the nursery when purchased as "Louisiana Oaks" approximately 20 yrs ago in my front yard. All trees are growing well but one of the four has a progressing mass of ro...
view the full question and answer

Splitting bark on non-native mimosa from Buda TX
June 24, 2012 - What would cause my Mimosa tree to have splitting bark. I've only lived in this house for 8 months and am learning about this tree. The other tree seems fine. It looks as though it split and then ...
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