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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 is a free service provided by the staff and volunteers at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center.

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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!

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Monday - March 16, 2015

From: Graham, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Plant Identification, Edible Plants, Trees
Title: Identity of wild plum in Childress County, Texas
Answered by: Nan Hampton

QUESTION:

I have a Wild Plum follow up question. My wife grew up around the Childress TX area. She remembers going around the creeks and gathering Wild Plums for her mother as a child. Would you have any idea what type of Wild Plums she found there? She also remembers that they were like in thickets.

ANSWER:

My guess is that it is Prunus angustifolia (Chickasaw plum).  This is the only plum species that is shown on the distribution map on the USDA Plants Database as occurring in Childress County.  It is described as a "twiggy, thicket-forming tree" that can grow 15-30 feet tall.  Here is more information from TAMU Aggie Horticulture and Missouri Botanical Garden.

Another plum species, Prunus gracilis (Oklahoma plum), occurs in adjacent Collingsworth County.  It is also thicket-forming but its height as listed as 1.5 to 6 feet.  See the USDA Plants Database distribution map.  Here is more information TAMU Aggie Horticulture and Oklahoma University Biosurvey.

 

From the Image Gallery


Chickasaw plum
Prunus angustifolia

Oklahoma plum
Prunus gracilis

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