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
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 Non-Natives Questions

Eliminating straggler daisy from St. Augustine grass in Hochheim TX
May 14, 2010 - I have straggler daisy in my St. Augustine grass. What herbicides work well on straggler daisy and won't ding up the grass too bad?
view the full question and answer

Protecting a non-native Meyer Lemon from Freezing in Austin
January 05, 2013 - What is the best way to protect my Meyer Lemon tree from freezing Austin weather? It has been planted in my yard for 1 year and is about 4 feet high
view the full question and answer

Texas native plants in an indoor space in Dallas
July 31, 2009 - Is there a native Texas plant that would be suited for an indoor application, such as large planters in a lobby space?
view the full question and answer

Care of non-native Sorbaria sorbifolia (false spiraea)
August 24, 2010 - I have 2 Sorbaria sorbifolia (false spiraea) that will not flower. This is their third summer. What should I do?
view the full question and answer

Non-native mango in pool area in Stuart FL
May 23, 2011 - We are landscaping a backyard and want to put in a pool. He wants to keep the huge mango tree that overhangs part of the pool area, I don't really care but would like to know what other fast growing...
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
© 2014 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center