Rent Shop Volunteer Join

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
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 Non-Natives Questions

Non-native ornamental peach purchased in Georgetown TX
March 29, 2011 - I purchased an "ornamental peach" at a plant sale in Georgetown, TX. Only info it had on the tag: 6' tall. The leaves are long and narrow, burgundy, with serrated edges; is in a 1-qt pot. Any ca...
view the full question and answer

Care of non-native, hybrid petunias
August 31, 2004 - I have a beautiful Petunia Tiny Tunia Violet plant which has been flowering nicely (in sun and shade environment). Suddenly, a few days ago, it began to look like it's dying--stalks all dried out. Is...
view the full question and answer

Powdery growth in hydrangea in Philadelphia
June 20, 2010 - My hydrangea plants have a weird growth on their leaves that looks like white rice. It looks like it would be powdery if brushed, but I don't want to touch it for fear that it some type of mold. Any...
view the full question and answer

Problems with non-native zucchini in Muskogee, OK
July 23, 2011 - In the awful heat of this summer I am still getting zucchini to produce. But, once it grows about 3 inches, it gets yellow on the ends and dies. Am I watering it too much? (I have sprayed for bugs ...
view the full question and answer

Another plant with ice plant as the common name from Corpus Christi
June 17, 2010 - This is not a question, but your "ice plant" answer to El Cajon did not consider Mesembryanthemum crystallinum, which I believe is the common roadside succulent that ate California. God have mercy ...
view the full question and answer

Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.