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 Trees Questions

How can I tell the age of a Pecan tree in Rosenberg, TX?
September 03, 2010 - How can I tell the age of a Pecan tree? I live on the Brazos River and have a lot of large Pecan trees but the largest is approx. 11 ft. around.
view the full question and answer

Trimming oak threatening fence in California
July 21, 2008 - I live in Diamond Springs,California,I have a large oak tree growing between my neighbors' house and mine. A large branch is cracked and in danger of falling on my fence,I would like to lighten it up...
view the full question and answer

Problem with mesquite tree limbs
June 13, 2014 - i keep finding some smaller branches of my mesquite tree in the turf area around the tree. when looking at the cut ends, they appear to have a smooth cut around the circumference of the limb about 1/...
view the full question and answer

Can I move my Dwarf Orange tree from California to Florida?
April 12, 2012 - I am moving from California to Florida and have a small dwarf orange tree. Can I bring it with me to Florida? Thanks!
view the full question and answer

What eats American holly bushes in winter?
January 24, 2010 - I live in Marlborough, MA and I was shoveling snow on January 19th and noticed how beautiful my Holly bush was covered in red berries against the new fallen snow. My husband said to me this morning (...
view the full question and answer

Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.
E-NEWSLETTER | BECOME A MEMBER | DONATE NOW | MEDIA | SITEMAP | STAFF
© 2016 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center