Rent Shop Volunteer Join

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

Tuesday - May 04, 2010

From: Austin, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Non-Natives
Title: Best for Austin-non-native loquat or kumquat?
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

I was wondering which tree is suited better in the Austin,TX, area, the Loquat or the Kumquat, do they lose their leaves in the winter and do they bear fruits?

ANSWER:

You will get answers to some of your questions on the Kumquat from this Floridata website Fortunella spp. It originated in southern China and is cultivated in sub-tropic areas. It is considered hardy from USDA Hardiness Zones 8 to 10; Austin is in Zone 8b.

Also from Floridata, this article on Loquat, Eriobotrya japonica, has the information that it is native to  southeastern China and Japan. It is hardy from Zones 7 to 10, but only bears fruit in frost-free areas.

As to which is best for the Austin area, you are the best judge of that. We, of course, would rather you planted trees native to Central Texas. The Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center is dedicated to the use, preservation and propagation of plants native not only to North America but to the area in which they are being grown. You will find there are very few food plants that are considered native. Not only are their origins often not in North America, but they have been hybridized or grafted so many times that their parentage would be unrecognizable. 

 

More Non-Natives Questions

Will corn fall victim to allelopathy from hackberry in Clarkridge AR
March 30, 2013 - Will my corn be inhibited by a nearby hackberry and if so would it help to cut it down? I understand that sometimes the soil is full of the chemicals the tree produces.
view the full question and answer

Problems with non-native gardenias in San Ramon, CA
July 11, 2009 - I have a Gardenia tree planted in my front yard that gets shade and sun. It is dropping leaves and the leaves that are left are yellow. I had been watering it every day, but decreased that to every ot...
view the full question and answer

Care for non-native Easter Lily (Lilium longiflorum)
June 07, 2005 - How do you care for an Easter Lily once the flowers have fallen off?
view the full question and answer

Non-native Asclepias curassavica
March 09, 2005 - I have some plants given to me by a neighbor, here in Florida. She says they are called Butterfly Reel or by another name Asclepias Curassavica. I have been unable to locate any info. on this plant. ...
view the full question and answer

What is wrong with cultivars of native plants?
May 26, 2009 - What is wrong with cultivars of native plants? My state native plant society won't allow cultivars at their annual sale, and the native plant nursery from which I order only offers the species. But a...
view the full question and answer

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