En Español

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?


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

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!

Need help with plant identification, visit the plant identification page.

rate this answer
Not Yet Rated

Tuesday - April 24, 2012

From: San Marcos, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Invasive Plants, Non-Natives, Trees
Title: Non-native, invasive Paulownia for San Marcos TX
Answered by: Barbara Medford


Can a Paulownia tree grow in San Marcos? If so were can I get one?


Unfortunately, yes, the Paulownia tomentosa (Princess Tree) will grow in San Marcos. I'm sure you can find them for sale very easily, but we aren't going to help you with that. If you plant one, we predict that in two years you will be writing to ask us how to get rid of it-or your neighbors will. This plant originated from China, and has been in the United States since about the 1840's. It gets into disturbed areas, like recent burn areas or construction areas, can't be killed and begins to proliferate itself with abandon. It moves into established native forests and begins to crowd out the desirable trees. There are groups, including the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center, who are tracking and reporting this very undesirable plant. Please read this article from the Plant Conservation Alliance's Alien Plant Working Group LEAST WANTED.

What else can we say to discourage you from planting this tree? Please don't.


More Non-Natives Questions

Coconut in a husk from Round Rock TX
January 26, 2011 - Looking for a coconut in its complete husk ?
view the full question and answer

Comments on non-native Tecomas from Phoenix AZ
October 11, 2011 - There was a question regarding red Tecomas but I see no way to make a comment directly to that. There are indeed red Tecomas on the market one being Tecoma x 'Bells of Fire' tm and ppaf. I am the ...
view the full question and answer

Care of non-native Easter lily, Lilium longiflorum
June 03, 2006 - I have a white lily that is in a pot and has already bloomed four flowers. will it bloom again? Can I replant this outside right now or what should I do with it?
view the full question and answer

Landscaper recommends non-native zoysia in Austin
April 05, 2013 - My landscaper recommends using "zoysia" grass throughout my new lawn, in full shade, partly shaded, and non-shaded areas, including in the gaps between leuder stone walks. I haven't heard about th...
view the full question and answer

Problem with non-native Chocolate Silk Tree, Albizia julibrissin
June 09, 2009 - How do we get our Chocolate Silk Tree that once had redish brown leaves from now green to the original color? Thank You.
view the full question and answer

Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.
© 2016 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center