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

Saturday - February 22, 2014

From: Fort Worth, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Privacy Screening, Shrubs
Title: Shrubs for a barrier in Ft. Worth TX
Answered by: Brigid & Larry Larson

QUESTION:

Hello, I'm looking for a natural barrier as an alternative to a fence in my backyard. I see several other questions answered relating to this but I'm looking for something specifically as a native shrub or bush to North Texas (not a tree) I live in an area with slightly richer soil (Oakhurst) so I might be able to get away with planting things that couldn't otherwise be planted in the DFW area. The back yard fence line runs a decent length and is already partially filled with Lagerstroemia and hackberries but I'd like to fill in the spaces with something that will also encapsulate the backyard more naturally. Thanks for any help you can provide!

ANSWER:

   I think that sounds like a great plan.  The way to get a good list of shrubs that are native to the Ft. Worth area is to use the Wildflower Centers lists of Recommended Species.  This link is to the  Texas North Central Recommended Species. 

  Searching this for shrubs, 6-36 ft [using the “Narrow Your Search” options on the right side] gives five options.  Of these:
Rhus aromatica (Fragrant sumac) and Ilex vomitoria (Yaupon) seem well suited for the application you are asking about.  Slightly less suitable are Cephalanthus occidentalis (Common buttonbush), Amorpha fruticosa (Indigo bush), and Ilex decidua (Possumhaw). On these,  Size and Aspect seems pretty good but they may have issues in that they should have moist soil.

   I also make a practice of checking the previous Mr Smarty Plants answers.  Like you mentioned, there are a few, but these seemed to apply to your desire for shrubs.  Perhaps these are a bit different from those you mention.  [The one from Central Texas is a bit far afield, but does have a great list of local shrubs!]
Hedge in central Texas 
Variety of native tall plants for a screen in shady area near Ft. Worth 
Plants for area around pool in Plano, Texas    [lists bush and shrubs] 
Plants for pool area in Fort Worth 

 

From the Image Gallery


Fragrant sumac
Rhus aromatica

Yaupon
Ilex vomitoria

Yaupon
Ilex vomitoria

Common buttonbush
Cephalanthus occidentalis

Possumhaw
Ilex decidua

Indigo bush
Amorpha fruticosa

More Shrubs Questions

Need help identifying shrub with large thorns in Tennessee.
March 10, 2009 - A shrub?with very large thorns. Main stock of plant woody with a gray and white splotchy bark at base. Branches are green and shiney and have very large heavy thorns spaced several inches apart on...
view the full question and answer

Evergreen native shrubs in Long Island, NY
April 17, 2009 - I would like to plant evergreen bushes (or trees)against my house facing north with no sun and growing no taller than 4 feet high. Any suggestions? I live in Coram, Long Island, New York
view the full question and answer

Planting native blueberry bushes in Tennessee
July 07, 2008 - I have long wished to have wild blueberry bushes at my home. They are native to mountainous regions of my state, but I don't know whether or not it is reasonable to expect to be able to grow them wh...
view the full question and answer

Large-scale container garden for New York City
August 17, 2013 - I am a community volunteer in NYC who is trying to help a non-profit set up two large container gardens (about 3 feet high by 4 feet long by 2 or so feet wide). The problem is that they want natives,...
view the full question and answer

Need suggestions for plants for a bird/small wildlife refuge in Wichita Co, TX.
August 26, 2011 - With our continuing drought in North Texas, I'm planning to transform my small backyard into a bird/small wildlife "refuge". What types of native plants and grasses can I plant in dry, hot Wichita ...
view the full question and answer

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