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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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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.

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Tuesday - May 06, 2014

From: Austin, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Trees
Title: A Crabapple for the Austin, TX area.
Answered by: Joe Marcus

QUESTION:

I am in search of crab apples. Don't they grow in Austin? I can not seem to be able to locate any here. Any suggestions?

ANSWER:

Only one crabapple is native to central Texas.  Malus ioensis var. texana, Blanco Crabapple is native to riparian areas within the Blanco River drainage and in some surrounding localities on the Edwards Plateau.  Its native range is not known to include Travis County.  You can see several examples of the tree in our gardens. 

Some locally-owned nurseries may carry Blanco Crabapple as it is a lovely small tree bearing stunning pink flowers in April and scads of small fruit in fall.  Its fruit is not the best of the crabapples for eating.  However, its fall color is among the best of any of the apples.  The Wildflower Center typically has a few trees of Blanco Crabapple at our April and October fund-raising sales, but they tend to go quickly.  Members have the first crack at them on the Friday of plant sale weekends.

 

From the Image Gallery


Texas crabapple
Malus ioensis var. texana

Texas crabapple
Malus ioensis var. texana

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