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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!

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Friday - October 09, 2015

From: Sarasota, FL
Region: Southeast
Topic: Invasive Plants, Non-Natives, Trees
Title: Are Royal Poinciana and Royal Empress trees the same?
Answered by: Nan Hampton


Hi, can you tell me if the Royal empress tree and the Royal Poinciana are the same tree?


Both are introduced species that are not native to North America, but they are not the same tree.

Paulownia tomentosa (Royal empress or princesstree), Family Scrophulariaceae (Figwort Family), is native to China and is considered invasive in some parts of North America.  Here is more information on its invasive status.

Delonix regia  (Royal poinciana), Family Fabaceae (Bean Family), is native to Madagascar. It is not considered invasive, but caution is advised about its potential for invasiveness in south Florida. 



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