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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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Sunday - June 21, 2015

From: Charlottesville, VA
Region: Southwest
Topic: Propagation, Trees
Title: Can Crataegus viridian be grown in Houston, TX?
Answered by: Guy Thompson

QUESTION:

I am looking to plant Crataegus viridis (species or cultivar "Winter King") at a location in full sun in Houston. Many places I've found online say that it is hearty through Zone 9, but others have suggested otherwise. Many thanks!

ANSWER:

I checked several websites on the Internet, and almost all of them indicated that Crataegus viridis (Green hawthorn) cannot be successfully grown in southern Texas.  A hardiness zone map offers a hint as to why that is. Although I have not found a confirmation of my hypothesis on the Internet, I feel sure that Green hawthorn must require a specific number of winter days below a certain temperature to bloom profusely and set a good crop of berries.  This "chilling requirement" is what prevents some varieties of fruit trees from bearing well in the South.

You might want to consider a different species. Here is a list of possibilities, although some of these do better in part shade.  I might suggest Crataegus crus-galli (Cockspur hawthorn) and Cordia boissieri (Mexican olive) as being similar in some respects to Crataegus viridis.  Some of these plants should be available at your Houston area plant nurseries.


 

From the Image Gallery


Cockspur hawthorn
Crataegus crus-galli

Mexican olive
Cordia boissieri

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