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
2 ratings

Saturday - March 13, 2010

From: New Milton, WV
Region: Mid-Atlantic
Topic: Edible Plants
Title: Fruit trees for West Virginia
Answered by: Anne Bossart

QUESTION:

What kinds of fruit trees would grow best in West Virginia? I assume apple trees would, but what kind of apple tree and are there any others that would grow well?

ANSWER:

Unfortunately, you have come to the wrong place.  The Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower is devoted to the care, propagation and protection of plants native to North America and specifically to the area where they originated. Most fruit trees are so heavily hybridized that they no longer really qualify as native plants, plus most of them also originated in areas other than North America.  Apples, for instance, are native to Central Asia, even though we now think of them as American as "baseball, hot dogs and Chevrolet".

Your county agricultural extension service is your best resource for this kind of help. As a matter of fact, that is what they are mandated to do.  They will have advice on plant choices and cultivation techniques.

That is not to say that there are no fruit bearing trees and shrubs native to West Virginia.  If you visit our Native Plant Database and do a Combination Search for trees and shrubs for West Virginia, you will find fruit bearing plants that are more traditional. Such as:

Amelanchier canadensis (Canadian serviceberry)

Asimina triloba (pawpaw)

Prunus americana (American plum)

Sambucus racemosa (red elderberry)


Amelanchier canadensis

Asimina triloba

Prunus americana

Sambucus racemosa

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

More Edible Plants Questions

Huckleberries and blueberries from Vancouver WA
April 14, 2013 - Can you plant a blueberry next to a huckleberry?
view the full question and answer

Non-native pomegranate failing to fruit from Highland Village TX
October 20, 2012 - Last spring I planted a pomegranate tree (type: Wonderful) which is supposed to produce edible fruit. It had 5 or 6 absolutely beautiful blooms, but each of them dropped off and no sign of fruit. Is...
view the full question and answer

Edibility of Rumex hastatulus (heartwing sorrel)
March 25, 2007 - My mother and aunt, who are in their 80s, tell stories of eating a plant, when they were girls in North Central Texas. They call the plant "sheep shire". My mother says that it is a flat weed, that...
view the full question and answer

Edibility of non-native garlic sprouts from Brancburg, NJ
March 12, 2013 - I have regular garlic in my refrigerator. It had sprouts growing out of it so I put it in a cup of water. Now that the stems are large enough to put in food, my question is.. Is that part of the garl...
view the full question and answer

Plants for floodplain in Fairfield, New Jersey
March 21, 2010 - I have an easy question for you... I hope... We just moved into the floodplains of NJ in Fairfield and are interested in some plants. We would like to know what plants are best suited to grow in flood...
view the full question and answer

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