Friday, October 28, 2011

A surprise in the Mitchell Preserve on Spring Creek

When taking a walk in George Mitchell Preserve off of Flintridge Dr in The Woodlands Texas, I ran across a small strand of trees which turned out to be Orange Trees. At first I thought the trees were a native lemon, but after asking friends, the species turns out to be Poncirus trifoliata, an Orange tree covered in huge thorns, adorning a lot of fruit, producing even through the drought. It withstood the very hard freezes we experienced the past two years.
Flying Dragon
The fruit is thick skinned, bitter and full of large seeds. It is a Japanese native tree that withstands the cold, heat and  drought. It was found growing prolifically and unattended in the sandy soils near the creek. It is invasive but appeared to be compatible with the surrounding vegetation.

Wild Orange trees typically have thorns. Grafted and cultured trees are often without thorns.