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 - December 26, 2006

From: Spring Branch, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Trees
Title: Viability of Desert Willow and Hong Kong Orchid Tree in Spring Branch, TX
Answered by: Nan Hampton

QUESTION:

We live in Spring Branch, Rt 281 north of San Antonio. We want to plant a Regal Desert Willow tree and a Hong Kong Orchid tree. Will the cold / freeze be a problem? Where locally can we purchase the trees 3 - 5 gal size.

ANSWER:

The Desert Willow (Chilopsis linearis) is native to southern California, northern Mexico and western Texas, but has now been naturalized to areas as far north as Kansas and Utah. It is cold hardy in USDA Zones 7B - 11. Spring Branch in Zone 8b is well within the range. Here are further instructions for its care from the University of Florida Extension Service.

The Hong Kong Orchid Tree (Bauhinia blakeana), as its name suggests, is not native to Texas and its hardiness rating is USDA Zones 9B-11. You might get away with planting it in a very protected area or in a large container that could be moved to a protected place in case of freezing weather; or, you might consider a native species of Bauhinia, the Anacacho Orchid Tree (Bauhinia lunarioides). It is good to Zone 8.

To find a nursery near you specializing in native plants, you can visit our National Suppliers Directory. You can also try the PlantNative database. There are many duplications between the two databases, but each also has unique entries.

 

More Trees Questions

Live oak wobbling in the ground from Austin
May 02, 2012 - I have a live oak that was not planted firmly in the ground by the subdivision builder's landscapers. The entire tree is wobbly to the touch and it has come close to dying as result of windy condit...
view the full question and answer

Pinus taeda (Loblolly pines) for a property in Van Zandt County, Texas
March 17, 2015 - I want to initiate a stand of loblolly pine trees on our property in Van Zandt County in NE Texas. Assuming the ph factor is within range, how do I obtain seedings for this endeavor? Any other advic...
view the full question and answer

Permit to transport trees in Ivanhoe TX
December 02, 2010 - Do you have to have a special permit to transport trees on a semi truck and trailer in Texas? They are Texas grown trees, just going to a different location inside the state.
view the full question and answer

Problems with fruit of Mexican Plum from McKinney TX
May 19, 2013 - MY Mexican plum tree (about 5 years old) has small fruit on it. Some of them are severely deformed, and look rotten almost. They are bumpy and ragged looking. Or they are pasty white,rotten and dried ...
view the full question and answer

Growing non-native avocado outside from Austin
December 27, 2012 - My son has a very large avocado tree that he rooted from a pit that is currently growing in a large container. However, it has gotten too big to winter inside. Can it be planted in the ground in Aust...
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