En EspaÑol

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
Can't find the answer in our existing FAQs, submit a question to Mr. Smarty Plants.
Need help with plant identification, visit the plant identification page.
 
rate this answer
Not Yet Rated

Thursday - May 15, 2014

From: Ann Arbor, MI
Region: Midwest
Topic: Shrubs
Title: Small Shrub for a Foundation Planting in Michigan
Answered by: Anne Van Nest

QUESTION:

I need a small, native, perennial shrub for a foundation planting in Michigan.

ANSWER:

The first place to go to find a list of potential plants is our Native Plants Database.  Use the Combination Search feature instead of Recommended Species. This will provide a bigger selection with much more choice to narrow down. The volunteers and staff at the Wildflower Center who maintain the database have partners in different regions to help with these recommended species lists based on what is easy to access in local nurseries.
Under Combination Search, select the following categories: State – Michigan, Habit – Shrub, Duration – Perennial, and Light Requirement – Sun (or part shade, or shade depending on which side of the house you are planting). Then select the soil moisture that you have – dry, moist or wet and the height you have available for your shrub. You can also narrow the search by indicating blooming color and blooming time.

Some shrubs (1-3 ft.) for example that might fit your requirements include:
 

Andromeda polifolia (bog rosemary)

Arctostaphylos uva-ursi (kinnikinnick)

Gaylussacia baccata (black huckleberry)

Ledum groenlandicum (bog Labrador tea)

Vaccinium uliginosum (alpine blueberry)

Vaccinium vitis-idaea (lingonberry)


Some taller (3-6 ft.) native shrubs include:
 

Amelanchier stolonifera (running serviceberry)

Spirea alba var. latifolia (meadowsweet)

Symphoricarpos albus (common snowberry)

 

 

From the Image Gallery


Bog rosemary
Andromeda polifolia

Kinnikinnick
Arctostaphylos uva-ursi

Black huckleberry
Gaylussacia baccata

Bog labrador tea
Ledum groenlandicum

Alpine blueberry
Vaccinium uliginosum

Lingonberry
Vaccinium vitis-idaea

Running serviceberry
Amelanchier stolonifera

Common snowberry
Symphoricarpos albus

More Shrubs Questions

Source for Oregon boxwood from Salt Lake City, UT
July 24, 2013 - I am seeking plugs / cuttings for paxistima myrsinites (mountain lover) in a large quantity and cannot seem to source them. If you have any sources I could contact; I need 2225 of them please forward...
view the full question and answer

Request for seeds or cuttings for Malvaceae from French Botanical Garden
September 03, 2011 - hello We create a botanical garden devoted to the Malvaceae, can you help us by sending us seeds or cuttings? friendly the director jean-marie Jolicard botanical garden beaulieu 23170 Lépaud F...
view the full question and answer

Identification of shrub in Florida
July 03, 2008 - Hello Mr. Smarty Plants, I have a question about identifying some bushes. The bushes I have seen through areas of Florida and they seem to be used most often as natural fences. These are the charac...
view the full question and answer

Evergreen shrub for screening from Austin
March 25, 2012 - Is there an evergreen, fruit shrub which grows 8 to 10 feet high, having about 6 to 8 hours of sun which could be trimmed to serve as a screen in front of pool equipment on the side of our house?
view the full question and answer

Evergreen shrubs as dust barrier in Georgia
August 20, 2008 - Mr. Smarty Plants, I live on a dirt road in West Central Georgia. Could you recommend a fast growing, low maintenance evergreen shrub or small tree (that will not harm my horses or goats) that will fo...
view the full question and answer

Smarty Plants's Facebook profile Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.

Mr. Smarty Plants wants you to be his Facebook friend. Click the Facebook icon to add yourself to Mr. Smarty Plants list of friends.
E-NEWSLETTER | BECOME A MEMBER | DONATE NOW | MEDIA | SITEMAP
© 2014 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center