Rent Shop Volunteer Join

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

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
1 rating

Wednesday - May 02, 2012

From: Carlsbad, CA
Region: California
Topic: Non-Natives, Plant Identification, Trees
Title: Identification of tree in California
Answered by: Nan Hampton

QUESTION:

A medium-size tree with shiny green leaves toward the bottom and garnet red ones toward the top of the tree. The leaves are narrow with saw-toothed edges. There are clustered small white flowers with yellow centers. The trunk is ash grey.

ANSWER:

In our Native Plant Database, you can do a COMBINATION SEARCH choosing "California" from the Select State or Province option, "Tree" from Habit (general appearance) and "White" from Bloom Color.   None of the more than 35 trees that resulted from that search when I did it matched your description.   I suspect that the tree you are describing is a non-native introduced tree and, as such, would not be in our Native Plant Database.

The only tree that comes to mind is the non-native hybrid Photinia x fraseri (Red tip photinia).   Here is another set of photographs that gives a closeup of the leaves and flowers.

If this isn't the tree you have seen, I suggest you visit our Plant Identification page to find links to plant identification forums that will accept photos for identification.

 

More Trees Questions

Searching for a red mulberry tree (Morus rubra) to buy
March 17, 2008 - Want to purchase a native Texas Red Mulberry tree (morus rubra). Can't find one. Can you help? Thanks,
view the full question and answer

Fraxinus cuspidata (Fragrant Ash)
May 30, 2008 - Two part question: 1) Will fragrant (flowering; Fraxinus cuspidata) ash survive in Zone 7b? 2) Where can I get it?
view the full question and answer

Serviceberry for North Myrtle Beach, SC
February 19, 2009 - I'm looking to landscape a second home in North Myrtle Beach,SC and was wondering if the Serviceberry trees we love so much in the Buckeye State would also grow down here? Thanks!!
view the full question and answer

Native Texas Trees from Seed for Fence Line
July 07, 2016 - My parents have an unirrigated fence line on their property that they want to grow evergreen screening plants along. Given the difficulty of establishing nursery grown plants in such an unirrigated a...
view the full question and answer

Will a Norfolk pine survive winter in Houston
May 29, 2008 - If I transplant a Norfolk pine in the summer, or when is the best time, will it survive the winter growing in Houston Tx? Can you give me some suggestions for fast growing vines facing the front of my...
view the full question and answer

Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.