Shade tree with small yellow flowers in north Texas

bostedo(8a tx-bp-dfw)May 8, 2014

A pair of these are growing as shade trees in a courtyard of a medical facility north of Dallas, Texas. Ovate leaves, rough bark, and small yellow flowers that the bees seem to love. Looks natural, but may or may not be native to the area. First guess was Bois d'arc based on leaves, but bark and flowers don't seem right from my vague memories of last time I saw one up close. Apologies for the poor cellphone photo - no zoom and was trimmed too high for a closer shot. Familiar to anyone?

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nel5397

Wild Persimmon?

    Bookmark   May 8, 2014 at 5:37PM
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Olychick

Could it be a Linden tree?

Here is a link that might be useful: Linden tree info

This post was edited by olychick on Thu, May 8, 14 at 20:02

    Bookmark   May 8, 2014 at 7:13PM
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bostedo(8a tx-bp-dfw)

Thanks for the ideas. The trees are likely more than forty years old and over 30 ft tall, so size of Linden (Basswood) seems to fit better than Persimmon. Main difference is that it looks like their leaves have smooth margins while most Linden examples I can fine appear finely serrate - could this be a time of year difference? Bark does look similar.

    Bookmark   May 8, 2014 at 7:32PM
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Olychick

I just don't know but one of my friends has one growing on her farm; I can check when I'm there next. It was interesting to read about the honey made from the flowers - very highly prized and I guess one of the telltale attributes is how bees and butterflies flock to Linden trees.

Here is a link that might be useful: Linden tree honey

    Bookmark   May 9, 2014 at 12:45AM
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olreader

I would like to hear more opinions on what this is. With that alligator bark and little round flowers it looks like a native persimmon to me but I've never knowingly seen them in the wild. I have seen pictures of persimmons that size. (I planted two little American Persimmons last month so I am interested )

    Bookmark   May 9, 2014 at 9:28AM
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bostedo(8a tx-bp-dfw)

olreader, Oh, you're talking about Diospyros virginiana (Amercian, Eastern, Common,...). My mind had gone straight to Diospyros texana (Texas, Mexican, Black), which seems the more familiar "wild" persimmon used here; a smaller tree with much smoother bark. After looking at photos of the leaves, flowers, and bark of d. virginiana, am pretty certain you are right. We're on the western edge of their southern distribution, so is even possible they are natives. The following photo shows the alternate leaves and smooth margins a bit better.

nel5397, Seems you got it right on the first guess.... it was just the other North American wild persimmon :-) A beautiful tree we don't run into that often in neighborhoods around here.

Thanks to all for the help!

Here is a link that might be useful: Common persimmon factsheet (VT)

This post was edited by bostedo on Fri, May 9, 14 at 14:05

    Bookmark   May 9, 2014 at 11:55AM
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Olychick

Olreader, you may be right. I found this pic of a native persimmon trunk (the only large specimen I could find) and it does look very similar to the tree bostedo posted, but the link below describes it differently.

And this pic of persimmon blossoms looks very close, too.

Here is a link that might be useful:

    Bookmark   May 9, 2014 at 12:07PM
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bostedo(8a tx-bp-dfw)

olychick, Photo of the trunk is likely d. virginiana, but flowers/leaves are definitely d. texana - notice leaves are more obovate than ovate of d. virginiana. The following link shows the bark of the Texas persimmon (d. Texana); looks more like a crape myrtle.

Here is a link that might be useful: Bark - Texas Persimmon

This post was edited by bostedo on Fri, May 9, 14 at 12:28

    Bookmark   May 9, 2014 at 12:26PM
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floral_uk z.8/9 SW UK

Apart from the leaves and flowers being wrong for Linden I think bostedo would have been struck by fabulous fragrance and hum of bees and mentioned them in the original post.

    Bookmark   May 9, 2014 at 12:46PM
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bostedo(8a tx-bp-dfw)

floral_uk, Yes, I did not detect any fragrance, though it was very windy, so may have missed anything subtle we could have caught on a calmer day. However, did mention that the "bees" were there. In fact, it was their activity that had me look up enough to realize we were not sitting under oaks. They were having an especially tough time landing on the flowers as the limb tips were being blown about, so I could not get a good enough stationary look to swear they were actually bees versus some other buzzing pollinator. But am assuming bees also pollinate persimmons, is that right?

    Bookmark   May 9, 2014 at 1:39PM
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floral_uk z.8/9 SW UK

Sorry - missed the bees reference. The scent of Lindens in bloom is very strong. Always makes me a bit sad because it's a short lived pleasure and when they're over summer is well on and I know the gloom is on its way.

    Bookmark   May 10, 2014 at 7:14AM
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bostedo(8a tx-bp-dfw)

Ok, you've convinced me to add smelling a Linden in bloom to the bucket list. The American (Tilia Americana/Caroliniana ) varieties are not native to our part of Texas, so may have to do some hunting. Also wondering if they are as pungent as T. cordata or other European species you are thinking of.

    Bookmark   May 10, 2014 at 3:56PM
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