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

Need help with a misshapen Monterey Oak in Austin, TX
March 11, 2010 - In the Fall of 2008, I purchased a very tall Monterey Oak from TreeFolks at the Burger Center Sale. Since the wind was so high, all the tall trees were on the ground, and I guess that is why I did no...
view the full question and answer

Native evergreen trees with highest value for birds
April 02, 2007 - What native evergreen trees have the highest value for bird seed/fruit (other than Juniperus virginiana)?
view the full question and answer

Need tree suggestions for a long, narrow strip in Folsom, CA.
January 18, 2012 - I live in Folsom, Ca. I have a long strip (50') of planting area about 2.5' wide at the top of a retaining wall to the fence behind it. I would like to plant alternating (2) trees down this strip to...
view the full question and answer

What grows in Tampa FL
July 01, 2013 - Please let me know what grows in the backyard in Tampa, FL to provide screening and privacy?
view the full question and answer

Smoketree not flowering in Beverly Hills CA
June 29, 2011 - Why is my Smoke tree not flowering? It is big and the leaves are beautiful but no blooms.
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 | SITEMAP | STAFF
© 2016 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center