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
Not Yet Rated

Friday - November 09, 2012

From: Dale, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Planting, Transplants, Trees
Title: Freeze-resistant palms for Central Texas
Answered by: Guy Thompson

QUESTION:

I live in Lytton Springs just north of Lockhart. What is a good hardy palm that I can get that will grow without the worry of freeze?

ANSWER:

There are two cold-tolerant palm species native to Texas.  Sabal mexicana (Mexican palm) is found along the lower Rio Grande.  Like all palms, it grows slowly, but ultimately can reach 50 feet in height.  Sabal minor (Dwarf palmetto), on the other hand, only grows to about 5 feet and is found in Central Texas.  Sabal palmetto (Cabbage palmetto) is a native of the southeastern U. S. coast, and Washingtonia filifera (California fan palm) grows in desert canyons of California.  These are described in a useful web site describing palms suitable for the Dallas area. Some non-native palms are also listed there, along with tips on cultivation of palms.

A variety of palms can be purchased at Central Texas nurseries, as listed on this Ladybird Johnson Wildflower Center web site.  Images of the U.S. native palms are shown below.

 

From the Image Gallery


Mexican palm
Sabal mexicana

Mexican palm
Sabal mexicana

Dwarf palmetto
Sabal minor

Cabbage palmetto
Sabal palmetto

California fan palm
Washingtonia filifera

More Trees Questions

Mediterranean Pines indigenous to Verde Valley AZ
January 01, 2012 - Are the tall, thin Mediterranean/Pencil Pines growing in the Verde Valley in Arizona indigenous to the area? They are so plentiful, but are not identified as an indigenous evergreen. If not, how did...
view the full question and answer

Small tan balls on oak from Pipe Creek TX
May 21, 2014 - Dear Mr. Smarty Plants, our spanish oak is growing tan colored lumpy balls about the size and weight of a marshmallow..sometimes just one at the end of a short stem and sometimes 2-3 clumped together....
view the full question and answer

Should I Prune Oak Trees in February in Wisconsin?
February 17, 2011 - I need to cut some oak branches but am worried about oak wilt. You told an earlier questioner not to cut in February. I live in Wisconsin and it has been very cold lately. Am I okay to cut the bran...
view the full question and answer

Re-landscaping in Stephenville, TX.
November 17, 2012 - I prefer native plants. We are re-landsacaping, so I need grass, ground cover, vines and flowers to plant in our back yard. We have many trees and the whole yard is shady. A small area might be con...
view the full question and answer

Problems with post oaks in Milam Co., TX
October 26, 2009 - I have an old ranch in Milam County, Texas on the Brazos River with several large, old Post Oaks. Recently a few of these grand old trees have lost large branches and two have died. One has died, poss...
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 | STAFF
© 2015 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center