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Tuesday - April 17, 2007

From: austin, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Shade Tolerant
Title: Central Texas plants for dry partial shade
Answered by: Nan Hampton


I live in Austin Texas. My front garden area has rocky dry soil with intermittent sunlight and shade, maybe 2 to 4 hours of sunlight a day. Herbs do great. What perennial flowers (for some color) will work? I (of course) am looking for maximum bloom time. I am also open to other suggestions to spice up the garden (perhaps something that is not a flower). Also, my friend has given me some iris to plant. She doesn't know what specific type they are but grew them in dry conditions in Concord Oregon with sporadic sun and said they did well. Is it possible they could work in the space I mentioned above?


Below are some suggestions for Central Texas plants that will do well in dry, partial shade:

Perennial herbaceous plants:

Melampodium leucanthum (plains blackfoot)

Ruellia nudiflora (violet wild petunia)

Salvia engelmannii (Engelmann's sage)

Salvia roemeriana (cedar sage)

Tradescantia occidentalis (prairie spiderwort)

Wedelia texana (hairy wedelia)

Shrub or shrublike:

Calylophus berlandieri ssp. pinifolius (Berlandier's sundrops)

Erythrina herbacea (coralbean)

Leucophyllum frutescens (cenizo)

Pavonia lasiopetala (Rose pavonia)

Rhus virens (evergreen sumac)

Sophora secundiflora (mountain laurel)

Tecoma stans (yellow trumpetbush)

Grass or grasslike:

Chasmanthium latifolium (Indian woodoats)

Eragrostis intermedia (plains lovegrass)

Nolina texana (Texas sacahuista)


Mr. Smarty Plants doesn't know why your friend's iris shouldn't grow just fine in your yard, unless the Texas heat is too much for it.


Melampodium leucanthum

Ruellia nudiflora

Salvia engelmannii

Salvia roemeriana

Tradescantia occidentalis

Wedelia texana

Calylophus berlandieri ssp. pinifolius

Erythrina herbacea

Leucophyllum frutescens

Pavonia lasiopetala

Rhus virens

Sophora secundiflora

Tecoma stans

Chasmanthium latifolium

Eragrostis intermedia

Nolina texana



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