Host an Event Volunteer Join Tickets

Support the plant database you love!

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
21 ratings

Tuesday - March 31, 2009

From: San Antonio, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Edible Plants
Title: Native Fruits for Texas Hill Country
Answered by: Nina Hawkins

QUESTION:

Can you recommend a species of blackberry for San Antonio or any other fruit that will be compatible in my garden? (mostly Hill Country Native, thanks to Ladybird). The local store has raspberries, but I do not see anything encouraging on-line about their cultivation in Texas! (I'm from New York!)

ANSWER:

Mr. Smarty Plants has listed below some fruit-bearing plants that are native to Texas and are edible for humans.  The Mexican plum and Texas persimmon would be particularly suited to your garden of Hill Country natives, since they are also native to this region of Texas.  More extensive information about fruits native to Texas can be found in Delena Tull's book called Edible and Useful Plants of Texas and the Southwest.  Mr. Smarty Plants is not an expert on non-native fruits that can be grown in Texas, but found this Aggie Horticulture web article that you may find helpful.  According to the article, raspberries are indeed not adapted to conditions in Texas and would perform particularly poorly in the calcareous soils in the San Antonio area.  For blackberries, you are in luck.  Blackberries, native and non-native alike, are notoriously easy to grow here in Texas and elsewhere... meaning that they can also easily become invasive.  However, as long as you prune out the older canes that have already produced, you should be able to keep them in check.  For useful information on the cultivation and suggested varieties of blackberries and other food plants commonly grown in Texas you may want to check out Howard Garrett's book, Texas Organic Vegetable Gardening.  Mr. Smarty Plants wishes you many fruitful years to come!

Rubus trivialis (southern dewberry)

Prunus rivularis (creek plum)

Prunus mexicana (Mexican plum)

Diospyros texana (Texas persimmon) 

Diospyros virginiana (common persimmon)

Fragaria virginiana (Virginia strawberry)

Fragaria vesca (woodland strawberry)



Rubus trivialis


Prunus rivularis

Prunus mexicana

Diospyros texana

Diospyros virginiana

Fragaria virginiana

Fragaria vesca

 

 

More Edible Plants Questions

Are yellow bells (Tecoma stans) edible?
January 25, 2009 - Can you tell me if any part of the yellow bell can be eaten and if so what part. Also is it useful in making natural paints?
view the full question and answer

Identification of tart fruit that looks like a pumpkin
December 10, 2016 - As a child, in Miami, Florida, in the 1950's, another child challenged me to eat a "fruit" that looked like a pumpkin. It was just a little bigger than those candy pumpkins we see now at Halloween, a...
view the full question and answer

Are berries of coral honeysuckle edible from Lufkin TX
May 21, 2013 - Are the berries of coral honeysuckle edible?
view the full question and answer

Information on cherry trees from Santa Fe
May 23, 2010 - 1.does the purple leaf sand cherry have edible fruits? size, flavor, cross pollinator necessary, fruiting time? cultivars? zone, soil, light, water? 2. fall foliage color of 'Meteor" cherry tree?
view the full question and answer

Weed prevention in vegetable gardens
September 26, 2007 - Mr.Smarty Plants - I know this isn't your area, but we have a vegetable garden that has been plagued by summertime weeds. Do you have a recommendation for a control plan we could implement during t...
view the full question and answer

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