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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.

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Sunday - January 07, 2007

From: Austin, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Trees
Title: Fruit-bearing crabapple for Austin, TX
Answered by: Joe Marcus

QUESTION:

Is there a fruitbearing crabapple that will live in Austin. If so, what soil type is required?

ANSWER:

Two botanical varieties of crabapple are native to the Austin, Texas area: both Prairie Crabapple, Malus ioensis var. ioensis and Blanco Crabapple, Malus ioensis var. texana. Another species, Southern Crabapple, Malus angustifolia grows throughout the southeastern US, its range extending into East Texas. While all of these crabapples bear fruit, none produce particularly large fruit. Southern Crabapple often produces large numbers of apples which are an important wildlife food in its native range.

Given the right soil, moisture and light conditions most crabapples can be grown in Austin. However, other than those locally native most species require soils that are more acidic than most soils found in your area, especially the caliche soils.
 

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