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

Monday - November 27, 2006

From: Hutto, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Non-Natives
Title: Alternatives for non-native Bradford Pear
Answered by: Nan Hampton

QUESTION:

Hi, can you please give me some information about the "bradford flowering pear"? I live in Hutto,Tx. I want to know if this is a good tree to plant. What are the benefits of choosing this tree and is it easy to take care? How do I take care of it? Can you also give me information about what fruit trees I can grow as well. Thanks.

ANSWER:

The Bradford Pear (Pyrus calleryana) is a native of China. Our mission statement reads: "The mission of the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center is to increase the sustainable use and conservation of native wildflowers, plants, and landscapes." Since our focus and expertise is with plants native to North America, we don't recommend planting non-natives. We can recommend several attractive alternatives, however, that are native to Central Texas:

Mexican or Bigtree Plum (Prunus mexicana) produces beautiful showy white flowers in the spring and has the added advantage of producing plums that can be eaten or made into jam or jelly.

The hawthorns, such as Green Hawthorn (Crataegus viridis) or Cockspur Thorn (Crataegus crus-galli), also have profuse white flowers in the spring.

Texas Redbud (Cercis canadensis var. texensis) has magenta flowers in the spring and produces reddish seed pods that remain on the tree after the leaves have fallen.

Desert Willow (Chilopsis linearis) has large pink flowers in the spring and grows quickly.

You can find more trees using your own criteria for size, flowers, fruit, etc., by searching in the Texas Tree Planting Guide from Texas A&M and the Texas Forest Service.

The Williamson County Extension Office of Texas Cooperative Extension Service has recommendations for fruit and nut tree varieties that do well in Williamson County.

 

More Non-Natives Questions

Looking for Mimosa pudica plants in Austin, TX.
March 10, 2012 - Where can I buy a Mimosa pudica plant in or near Austin? I don't want seeds, but a few small actual plants. Thanks!
view the full question and answer

Baby in a manger plant from Rock Hill SC
June 28, 2010 - I'm looking for the correct name for baby in a manger(It's a plant.)
view the full question and answer

Deterioration of non-native weeping willows in Alabama
May 19, 2008 - I have a small lake behind my house. 8 years ago we planted two nice weeping willow trees, one on each corner of our yard down toward the lake. One started looking bad last year and we cut all the de...
view the full question and answer

Nativity of various bulbs
October 15, 2014 - Are the following bulbs native? Chionodoxa forbesii Camassia leichflinii Crocus Sprint tommasinianus Barr's Purple Hyacinthoides hispanica Narcissus 'Actea' Scilla siberica 'Spring Beauty' ...
view the full question and answer

Leaf-cutter ants on non-native crape myrtle
May 08, 2008 - We have a problem with cutter ants. I lose my entire Crepe Myrtle tree every year. All of the pest control personnel I ask do not have a solution. Can you please suggest something to eradicate thes...
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