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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

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 - May 14, 2011

From: Florence, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Rare or Endangered Plants
Title: Looking for Texas endangered trees to plant
Answered by: Nan Hampton

QUESTION:

I have 2 acres of good soil that does not have any trees. I would love to give life to native Texas endangered trees but I can not purchase them anywhere. Do you have any suggestions?

ANSWER:

Texas Parks and Wildlife shows five trees and shrubs that are listed on the Endangered and Threatened Plants in Texas and the United States.  They are:

You can also see A List of the Rare Plants of Texas by Jackie M. Poole, Jason R. Singhurst and William R. Carr.

There are no trees on either of these lists that are native to Williamson County.   In order for rare or threatened plants (for that matter, any plant) to thrive, it needs the proper habitat and Williamson County wouldn't have it.

You might contact the Williamson County chapter of the Native Plant Society of Texas (NPSOT) for suggestions of uncommon trees native to the county that you could plant on your two acres.  They do have a list, Maintenance Guide for Texas Native and Adapted Plants, which includes plants that do well in the county.

Here are a few somewhat uncommon trees from that list:

Leucaena retusa (Goldenball leadtree)

Prunus mexicana (Mexican plum)

Ptelea trifoliata (Wafer ash)

Sophora secundiflora (Texas mountain laurel)

Styphnolobium affine (Eve's necklace)

Ungnadia speciosa (Mexican buckeye)

Here are a few that aren't on their list:

Cornus drummondii (Roughleaf dogwood)

Condalia hookeri (Bluewood condalia) is endemic to Texas.

Cotinus obovatus (American smoke tree)

Ehretia anacua (Anacua) is endemic to Texas.

Frangula caroliniana (Carolina buckthorn)

Fraxinus texensis (Texas ash)

Morus microphylla (Littleleaf mulberry)

You can look for nurseries in your area that specialize in native plants by searching in our National Suppliers Directory.

 

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