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?

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
Not Yet Rated

Tuesday - June 12, 2012

From: Bulverde, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Non-Natives, Shrubs
Title: Non-native Sago Palm from Bulverde TX
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

My husband's job has taken him out of state and he left me in charge of his 27 year old sago palms, (house plants, sort of bonsai). They waited until he left and then quite perversely sprouted 3 foot tall antennas. Is that normal or should I worry about it making pod-people? I can provide pictures if it would help. thank you for any help you can give me.

ANSWER:

Since, as explained below, we don't know diddley about Sago Palms, we're going to make a wild guess that is a bloom stalk sticking up, but you should still follow our research links.

We would like to cop out and say all sago palms are non-native to North America (which they are) and that the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center is dedicated to plants native not only to North America but to the area in which the plant is being grown. However, we hate to leave you hanging with your responsibility, so we will try to find some clues for you. When we googled for "sago palm" we got 4 different species, each with that common name. We are going to list those, each with a link to an article and (hopefully) a picture so you can decide which it is. Then, using the scientific name you have chosen as being the right one, search on "care of (plant scientific name)". Somebody, somewhere, must have the information you are looking for.

Metroxylon sagu - referred to as true Sago Palm, native to Indonesia and New Guinea. Article from Virtual Palm Encyclopedia.

Cycas revoluta native to Southern Japan. Article from Arizona Master Gardeners

Cyclis circinalis - native to Western Ghat area in India

Cycas micronesica - native to Micronesia, seeds poisonous. Article from ARKive

Honestly, if your husband has had these plants for 27 years, he may be the world's greatest expert on them. We suggest you ask him.

 

 

More Non-Natives Questions

Are non-native Cleveland pear trees poisonous to dogs in Rushsylvania, OH
May 11, 2011 - Are Cleveland pear trees poisonous to dogs?
view the full question and answer

Corkscrew willow damage to roof in Detroit, MI.
August 13, 2009 - I have a corkscrew willow (Detroit, MI) that is huge and whose branches hang on top of the asphalt shingles of my mobile home. It has now been discovered that these shingles, under the branches, are ...
view the full question and answer

Replacement for non-native wisteria in Temecula CA
December 08, 2009 - We recently moved into a house that has a Wisteria bush that has taken over the patio cover. I wish to take it out because it is so messy and looks bad when it is dormant. I am trying to figure out ...
view the full question and answer

Non-native bermudagrass dying under non-native globe willow in Granbury TX
July 14, 2010 - We have a beautiful globe willow in our back yard with bermuda grass. All the grass is thinning out or dying under the tree. What can we do, is there another glass we could use that blends well with...
view the full question and answer

Is common yarrow a Texas native?
October 16, 2009 - Dear Mr. Smarty Plants, Is common yarrow Achillea millefolium a Texas native? Please enlighten me.
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 | JOBS | SITEMAP | STAFF INTRANET
© 2016 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center