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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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Thursday - February 14, 2008

From: Molino, FL
Region: Southeast
Topic: Non-Natives, Trees
Title: Looking for yellow bottlebrush (Callistemon sp.) and native substitutes
Answered by: Nan Hampton

QUESTION:

I have been looking for years for a yellow bottle bush. It is identical to the red but is yellow. there are several varieties, but the one i want is just like the red one in appearance. I live in Florida-any suggestions on where I could locate one? thanks

ANSWER:

Mr. Smarty Plants thinks you must mean the bottlebrush tree (Callistemon sp.) that is native to Australia. Our focus and expertise here at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center is with plants native to North America so the Australian bottlebrush tree is not really in our purview. You could, however, Google "yellow bottlebrush" or "yellow Callistemon" and perhaps you would find some sources for the tree you want.

Mr. Smarty Plants would like to recommend the following attractive native trees with yellow blossoms as a possible substitute for the yellow bottlebrush:

Acacia farnesiana (sweet acacia)

Parkinsonia aculeata (Jerusalem thorn)

Rhododendron austrinum (orange azalea)

Tecoma stans (yellow trumpetbush)

Sophora tomentosa (yellow necklacepod) and another site with photos


Acacia farnesiana

Parkinsonia aculeata

Rhododendron austrinum

Tecoma stans

 

 

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