Contact Us Host an Event 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
1 rating

Monday - May 10, 2010

From: Edinburg, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Trees
Title: Can Texas Ebony seed pods be used as mulch in Edinburg TX
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

I just bought a house with two large Texas ebony trees out front. I read somewhere that the seed pods could be used as mulch? Is this true? If so, would I need to remove the seeds from the pods first? If they can't be used as mulch, any other good ideas for them? I'll have plenty!

ANSWER:

Ebenopsis ebano (Texas ebony) is, indeed, a native to South Texas and in our Native Plant Database.  Here is some information and pictures from Arid Zone Trees. From Arizona WildFlowers, we extracted this information: "In Mexico, the seeds from the pods are eaten, and the black wood shells are roasted as a coffee substitute." We would assume, then, that there is nothing poisonous about the pods or the seeds, so using the pods as a mulch should be okay, since we found no information to the contrary. We think it would be well to remove the seeds from the pods, if you don't want little treelets popping up all around. 

From our Native Plant Image Gallery: 


Ebenopsis ebano

Ebenopsis ebano

Ebenopsis ebano

Ebenopsis ebano

 

 

 

 

More Trees Questions

Medium-sized trees for Central Texas
October 25, 2013 - I need some help figuring out what 2 trees to plant to replace 2 trees that are being taken down on Monday. The input we've received from the company doing the tree cleanup is to go with a chinkapi...
view the full question and answer

Fruit crops to grow in Tennessee mountains
May 27, 2013 - My property has a lot of rock formations throughout it and has hundreds of cedars where it is not pasture. I am wanting to grow fruit trees and berry bushes but don't know what can grow in this e...
view the full question and answer

Young Maple Dropping Leaves in Late Summer
September 05, 2013 - I have a 6-year-old maple tree. I'm not sure what type it is as the builder planted it. It is as tall as our two-story house and very healthy. It's the biggest tree in our neighborhood because we fe...
view the full question and answer

Native plants of Taos and Los Alamos NM from Houston
April 07, 2012 - Hi, Mr. Smarty Plants, can you recommend a guidebook for the native plants of the Taos/Los Alamos region? (I'm most interested in forbs.) I'll be headed there in May--is there anything I should es...
view the full question and answer

Trees to replace live oaks in Driftwood TX
February 07, 2012 - I am looking for ideas on what trees to plant in Driftwood, TX to replace live oaks that have been lost to oak wilt.
view the full question and answer

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