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
Not Yet Rated

Friday - July 12, 2013

From: Chambersburg, PA
Region: Mid-Atlantic
Topic: Invasive Plants, Non-Natives, Trees
Title: Non-native Royal Empress tree with only green leaves from Chambersburg PA
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

I have 3 Royal Empress trees in my yard that are between 2-4 yrs old and have never been any color other then big Green leaves. Do you know when they will turn Purple?

ANSWER:

Please read this article from Ecosystem Gardening Native Alternatives to Invasive Paulownia Trees.

Paulownia tomentosa (Royal Empress) is a deciduous tree in the family Paulowniaceae, native to central and western China, but invasive in the USA. The Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center, home of Mr. Smarty Plants, is dedicated to the growth, propagation and protection of plants native not only to North America but to the area where those plants grow naturally; in your case, the borough of Chambersburg in South Central Pennsylvania. This places that tree out of our realm of expertise but we wanted to address your question in hopes it would discourage others from planting this non-native invasive tree.

From the Missouri Botanical Garden here is an article on Paulownia tomentosa, which said "No fall color." We found purple leaves mentioned nowhere else, although the flowers are purple.

 

More Trees Questions

Trees native to Anza Valley California
February 14, 2012 - What are the best trees to plant in Aguanga, California?
view the full question and answer

Screen of Thuja Occidentalis on fire-damaged property in Bastrop TX
May 04, 2013 - I want to plant a screen of Thuja Occidentalis on the east side of our driveway. It is in the burn area of Bastrop, TX. None of our trees survived. Will Thuja Occidentalis grow here? I saw some specim...
view the full question and answer

Live oak leaves yellowing from Denton TX
January 26, 2012 - In autumn of 2010 I planted 10 live oaks about 6 to 7 ft. tall. I have see that during the month of Dec. 2011 to Jan. 2012 they are showing some yellow leaves. What can I do to help them?
view the full question and answer

Need a native tree for full sun in Hockley, TX
October 27, 2009 - What native trees should I plant for full sun. I am building on a 1/2 acre previously used as grazing land on the original Katy prairie. I need one large shade tree, a few smaller ornamentals, and a...
view the full question and answer

Weird growth on oaks in Middleburg FL
February 05, 2011 - Dear Mr. Smarty Plants; I have this plant/fungus that grows on my trees here in northeast Florida & nobody has been able to identify it for me. It looks like a clump of pine needles growing on the ba...
view the full question and answer

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