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

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

Low Water Use Plants for a Pond Island
November 06, 2014 - We have a medium sized pond/tank with a small island covered in black willows. The pond loses a lot of water and we were told it was partially due to the willows. We want to remove them and replace ...
view the full question and answer

Evergreen replacement for liveoaks with oak wilt in Austin
January 26, 2008 - One day after moving into our very first home and first home in Texas (just north of the Wildflower center in Sendera Southwest Austin) we discovered that all of our Live Oaks have Oak Wilt. After tre...
view the full question and answer

Clipping of beans from newly planted Tecoma stans
April 22, 2008 - I purchased a Esperanza Plant in a pot from a nursery in April of 2008. We planted it and it is doing fine, but came with blooms and beans. Do I need to do clip or prune the beans at this stage of g...
view the full question and answer

Why do conifers kill Texas hummingbird sage from Gray GA
April 15, 2014 - Why do conifers kill Texas hummingbird sage?
view the full question and answer

Hackberry stripped by Cedar Waxwings or American Goldfinches
March 27, 2007 - I live in Fort Worth. My one and only tree in the backyard is a 23 year old hackberry. While not infested with gall or weevils, we have been invaded this past few weeks by hordes of small, chubby, yel...
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