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
3 ratings

Thursday - August 29, 2013

From: Junction, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: General Botany, Non-Natives, Plant Identification, Trees
Title: What are the differences between Arbutus xalapensis, A. unedo and A. marina
Answered by: Nan Hampton

QUESTION:

One nursery lists madrone trees as arbutus uneda compacta and arbutus marina. The other lists it as arbutus xalapensis, which is the only name I can find in the data base. There is a very large price difference. How are the plants alike and different? Thank you.

ANSWER:

Our Native Plant Database contains only plants native to North America.  Arbutus xalapensis (Texas madrone) is native to Texas and New Mexico and occurs in our database.  Neither of the other two Arbustus species is native to North America.  Arbutus unedo is introduced tree from Ireland and Southern Europe.  Arbutus unedo 'Compacta' is a dwarf version of this tree.  Arbutus 'Marina' is most likely a hybrid between two Arbutus species.   It's origin is somewhat of a mystery; but as a hybrid, it is not considered a native plant.  Here is a discussion of it from Sonoma County Master Gardeners (California).

 

 

More Plant Identification Questions

Mystery dill-type weed
September 01, 2008 - My daughter has a weed growing in her flower bed that look very simular to dill weed, but thicker. If you pinch it, it has a sticky milky substance come out. Can you tell me what this plant may be? ...
view the full question and answer

Plant identification
September 20, 2014 - I was recently visiting Texas and kept seeing a particular plant in drainage bottoms and wetland areas (note these areas at the time of my visit were very dry). I was hoping you might be able to help...
view the full question and answer

Plant identification of plant with leaves like poison ivy
July 30, 2013 - I would like to identify a plant whose leaves look like poison ivy, but the stem is white and has thorns. It is not thready. It was prevalent in overgrown garden beds of a house in Litchfield, CT. ...
view the full question and answer

Identification of small tree in Florida
August 31, 2012 - I live in Port Saint Lucie, FL. We have a few trees (?) growing in our yard I would like to i.d. They seem to grow quickly have smooth leaves that grow opposite one another and the underside of the ...
view the full question and answer

Identity of bulbs from digging in an anthole
June 13, 2012 - I was digging in an ant hole and it collapsed and as I dug it out, I found around 50 white bulbs that did not have a smell or roots. They resembled onion bulbs. I have a picture of these and they are...
view the full question and answer

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