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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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Saturday - February 27, 2010

From: Leander, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Cacti and Succulents
Title: Central Texas plant to grow in cavity in cedar (Juniperus ashei)
Answered by: Nan Hampton

QUESTION:

Is there a CenTX native that would be happy in a one-gallon cavity in a Cedar tree? I'd like to disguise an amputated limb. I'd consider a Bromeliad or Staghorn fern, but would prefer a native.

ANSWER:

Mr. Smarty Plants thinks 'he' has the perfect plant for you.  How about Opuntia engelmannii var. lindheimeri (Texas pricklypear)?  I've actually seen them growing in both Quercus fusiformis (plateau oak) and Juglans nigra (black walnut) high up on limbs—their seeds deposited there, no doubt, by small furry animals or feathered friends who enjoyed eating the ripe prickly pears.  The cactus should do well in the hollow in your Juniperus ashei (Ashe's juniper) as long as it gets adequate sun.  It will be evergreen and should produce some beautiful blooms in May or June.

 

From the Image Gallery


Texas prickly pear
Opuntia engelmannii var. lindheimeri

Texas prickly pear
Opuntia engelmannii var. lindheimeri

Texas prickly pear
Opuntia engelmannii var. lindheimeri

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