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

Thursday - January 17, 2013

From: Summerfield, FL
Region: Southeast
Topic: Trees
Title: Texas wild olive for Summerfield FL
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

I want to buy a Texas Wild Olive for my home in Summerfield, Fl. My landscaper brought me a regular olive tree saying he had never heard of a Texas Olive Tree in our area. I have looked on line without success. Where can I get one even if it has to be shipped to me?

ANSWER:

As you will see from this USDA Plant Profile, the Cordia boissieri (Mexican olive) is native only to Texas. You can follow the plant link to our webpage on this plant to determine what its growing conditions are, and try to figure out from that if it will be able to survive in the climate, soil and rainfall of Marion County FL. At the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center, home of Mr. Smarty Plants, we recommend only plants native to North America but also to the area in which they are being grown, in this case, Mason Co. FL.

Frankly, we don't hold out much hope that you can find this somewhat rare tree, endemic to Texas, but we suggest you go to our National Suppliers Directory, enter your town and state or just your zipcode in the "Enter Search Location" box and you will get a list of native plant nurseries, seed companies and consultants in your general area. Each has contact information so you can find out if the tree is available.

Also at the bottom of our webpage on this tree, click on the link to Google on that plant, with the possibility that a nursery who does shipping might have that plant available. We did find one article on Cordia boissieri (Mexican olive) which said the plant was quite rare and may be on the edge of extinction. From Dave's Garden, also read this negative comment from Odessa, Florida:

"It begins to grow and even flower, but as soon as the wind blows a little, the entire head or at least various branches break off. I lose a year's growth with a puff of wind. It is more soft and breakable than hard and brittle. Prehaps it is too wet for it in Florida. Anyway, its headed for the compost pile."

We did notice, on this search, a few nurseries advertising Cordia boissieri (Mexican olive), so you might check for possibilities.

 

From the Image Gallery


Mexican olive
Cordia boissieri

Mexican olive
Cordia boissieri

Mexican olive
Cordia boissieri

More Trees Questions

Mexican Sycamore trees grown from seed
November 15, 2011 - If someone is selling an alleged Mexican Sycamore grown from a seed harvested from a mature tree growing in Austin, is it likely to be a TRUE Mexican Sycamore -- or has it most likely been pollinated ...
view the full question and answer

Damage to cedar elm from Austin
August 16, 2013 - We have a cedar elm next to the corner of our house that has been dropping lots and lots of twigs with green leaves over the past 3 weeks, while our other elms have not. These rapidly pile up on the p...
view the full question and answer

Native Christmas tree from Smithville TX
December 16, 2012 - I've always wanted to use a native tree as a Christmas tree. Do you have any suggestions?
view the full question and answer

Native alternatives for Japanese maple
September 05, 2007 - Hi, I am a landscaper trying to create a landscape in a shaded area with no sun. The person likes a Acer palmatum, but I am not sure it will grow there. We live in South Lake Tahoe. So I know of some ...
view the full question and answer

A tree to replace a pin oak in PA
January 25, 2011 - My 120 yr old pin oak has root and butt rot, 5 of 13 roots dead by pressure testing. I am in Pittsburgh PA. I want to plant a root rot resistant tree, either evergreen, fir or deciduous. The tree is 9...
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