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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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Sunday - May 01, 2005

From: Kyle, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Trees
Title: Texas native mulberry tree
Answered by: Nan Hampton

QUESTION:

My family recently moved to Kyle, TX (north of San Marcos, south of Austin). I am delighted to discover a dewberry tree in our yard. I have never heard of such a thing. Is this a common species?

ANSWER:

Sorry, but I'm afraid we have never heard of a "dewberry tree". I think perhaps what you have is a mulberry tree? There are two native mulberries that occur in Texas--the Texas mulberry and red mulberry. The Texas mulberry is smaller and has smaller leaves and fruits. Its leaves are sandpapery rough on both upper and lower surfaces. It ranges through the western two-thirds of Texas. The larger red mulberry that occurs in the eastern half of the state has larger leaves and fruits and its leaves are rough only on the top surface and fuzzy underneath. Both mulberries show a variety of leaf shapes from ovate to lobed from tree to tree or on the same tree. The purple or red fruit (mulberries) of both the Texas mulberry and the red mulberry look very similar to the dewberry.
 

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