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

Are non-native Chinese pistache poisonous to alpacas from Galt CA
October 07, 2012 - Are Chinese Pistachio trees poisonous to alpacas?
view the full question and answer

Problems with non-native Weeping Japanese Red Maple
October 04, 2008 - have a Weeping Japanese Red Maple. We bought if from a good nursery in the spring and planted it but now it is not red anymore. It is just greenish. Can you advise me what it is needing or any thing ...
view the full question and answer

Problems with non-native Carrotwood tree in Toluca Lake CA
June 25, 2009 - My Carrotwood tree leaves are turning yellow and curling down, Why? Also due to a bad trim, the outer limbs are dying. Can you tell me what is wrong? It is an old tree and I would like to save it!
view the full question and answer

Locations where non-native Mimosa trees grow
May 23, 2005 - Where do mimos trees grow?
view the full question and answer

Non-native, invasive Paulownia for San Marcos TX
April 24, 2012 - Can a Paulownia tree grow in San Marcos? If so were can I get one?
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