Contact Us Host an Event Volunteer Join

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.

Help us grow by giving to the Plant Database Fund or by becoming a member

Did you know you can access the Native Plant Information Network with your web-enabled smartphone?

Share

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.

Search Smarty Plants
See a list of all Smarty Plants questions

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.

 
rate this answer
13 ratings

Monday - October 01, 2007

From: Sherman, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Seeds and Seeding, Trees
Title: Does Chilopsis linearis, var.Bubba produce seed pods? No.
Answered by: Jimmy Mills

QUESTION:

We have a really beautiful 2-year old Bubba, Desert Willow. It is already about 12 feet tall. I really have two questions. One does the Bubba form the seed pods like the other types of Desert Willows? I have not seen any seed pods yet and this is the second fall. And question two is: It has a couple of low growing branches. Will they move up as the tree grows taller or should I prune them? I want a tree shaped Desert Willow and I really do not like those low branches, but if they moved up with the growth of the tree, I would like them. Thank you for your help.

ANSWER:

Desert Willow (Chilopsis linearis) is not a true Willow (see genus Salix) although it has willow-like leaves.
The variety Bubba was originated by Paul Cox of the San Antonio Botanical Garden, and has proved to be a favorite among landscapers because of its drought tolerance and deer resistance. I have found only one reference regarding the production of seed pods by Bubba, and the Williamson County Landscape Center says Bubba does not produce seed pods.

The low branches will not move up the tree because of the way trees and other flowering plants grow. New growth is occuring at the tip of the plant, and once a branch is established, it will maintain its position on the plant relative to the ground, neither moving up or down. So if you don't like the low branches, go ahead and prune them.

 

From the Image Gallery


Desert willow
Chilopsis linearis

More Trees Questions

Waht are the truly native Texas trees
August 20, 2007 - What two trees are truly native to Texas? I was told pecan and can't remember the other.
view the full question and answer

Selecting a tree for a backyard in San Antonio, TX
May 11, 2013 - Hello Mr. Smarty Plants, I recently moved into a home in West San Antonio right outside Loop 1604..my treeless backyard is fairly small at about 55 ft long and 15 ft wide. I am torn because I can't ...
view the full question and answer

Why is Rhus aromatica more deer resistant from Seattle
December 07, 2009 - I have a large area that I would like to cover with Rhus aromatica. My landscaper says that in his experience, Rhus typhina and glabra in this area are heavily browsed by deer. I noticed in your dat...
view the full question and answer

Quercus polymorpha or Mexican white oak
June 19, 2007 - On the Texas Oak Wilt Information Partnership website, they list a "Monterrey Oak" as one of the White Oaks (#3 in the FAQ section). I cannot find Monterrey Oak in your Explore Plants section; does...
view the full question and answer

Is a Mexican plum planted last Spring in Houston ready to bloom
April 08, 2011 - I live in Houston, TX. I bought my Mexican Plum last late Spring. It was about 4' tall. It is now about 6' tall, very healthy with lots of beautiful leaves. It gets a lot of sun. It did not blo...
view the full question and answer

Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.