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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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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.

 
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Thursday - April 23, 2015

From: Austin, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Invasive Plants, Non-Natives, Trees
Title: Looking for non-native Chinese Pistache tree
Answered by: Nan Hampton

QUESTION:

Where in the Austin area would be a good place to find a nice sized Chinese Pistache to plant in my yard?

ANSWER:

Our mission at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center is to increase the sustainable use and conservation of native wildflowers, plants and landscapes.

Pistacia chinensis (Chinese pistache), as its name suggests, is a native of China and East Asia and has been introduced into North America.  It is also considered an invasive species so we would not recommend planting it at all.  We would recommend several alternative native species to plant that create beautiful fall colors:

Rhus lanceolata (Prairie flameleaf sumac)

Acer grandidentatum (Bigtooth maple)

Quercus shumardii (Shumard oak)

Quercus texana (Nuttall oak)

You can check our National Suppliers Directory for nurseries in your area that specialize in native plants.

 

 

From the Image Gallery


Prairie flameleaf sumac
Rhus lanceolata

Bigtooth maple
Acer grandidentatum

Shumard oak
Quercus shumardii

Texas red oak
Quercus buckleyi

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