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
1 rating

Thursday - August 29, 2013

From: Junction, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: General Botany, Non-Natives, Plant Identification, Trees
Title: What are the differences between Arbutus xalapensis, A. unedo and A. marina
Answered by: Nan Hampton

QUESTION:

One nursery lists madrone trees as arbutus uneda compacta and arbutus marina. The other lists it as arbutus xalapensis, which is the only name I can find in the data base. There is a very large price difference. How are the plants alike and different? Thank you.

ANSWER:

Our Native Plant Database contains only plants native to North America.  Arbutus xalapensis (Texas madrone) is native to Texas and New Mexico and occurs in our database.  Neither of the other two Arbustus species is native to North America.  Arbutus unedo is introduced tree from Ireland and Southern Europe.  Arbutus unedo 'Compacta' is a dwarf version of this tree.  Arbutus 'Marina' is most likely a hybrid between two Arbutus species.   It's origin is somewhat of a mystery; but as a hybrid, it is not considered a native plant.  Here is a discussion of it from Sonoma County Master Gardeners (California).

 

 

More General Botany Questions

Difference between class notes and size notes on website
August 09, 2012 - I enjoy using the native plant database in planning my flower beds. However, I don't know the difference between Class notes and size notes. Can you help me out?
view the full question and answer

USDA Hardiness Zone of Rancho Bernardo, CA
October 01, 2009 - What plant zone is Poway, Rancho Bernardo CA?
view the full question and answer

Plant for science experiment from Kentfield CA
November 10, 2009 - What is a fast growing plant I should use for a science experiment?
view the full question and answer

Disappearing sunlight in Phoenix, AZ
September 29, 2009 - I live in a condo in Phoenix, AZ with a north facing patio that goes out about 10 feet and is 20 feet wide. During the summer months there is a span of 1 foot in the front that goes the 20 foot length...
view the full question and answer

Do plants grow better under artificial or natural light?
May 25, 2009 - Dear Mr. Smarty Plants, So do plants grow better under artificial lights, or sunlight???? and if so what happens when they are growing? Which seedling sprouts first??? What happens as they grow? I a...
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