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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.

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Ask Mr. Smarty Plants is a free service provided by the staff and volunteers at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center.

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Friday - April 20, 2007

From: Austin, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Non-Natives
Title: Plant replacements for non-native invasives in Austin, TX
Answered by: Nan Hampton

QUESTION:

I live in Austin, TX, I have a large lot and small house. I want to do some selective planting on the back half of my lot. Currently there are large live oaks, cedar elm. hackberry, cedar, Texas persimmon and non native invasive plants nandinia, lagustrium and chinaberry. I intend to remove the invasive plants and thin the hackberrys and cedar elm that are interfering with the live oaks. Can you give me some suggestions on what to plants use to replace the plants that I remove? This will be in shade to semi-shade with caliche type soil. I want to use plants that support birds and wildlife and would to use plants that I can collect using softwood cuttings. Thanks for any suggestions you can give me.

ANSWER:

Mr. Smarty Plants commends you for getting rid of those invasive plants in favor of attractive, wildlife-friendly native plants. You have many choices and here are some suggestions:

Callicarpa americana (American beautyberry)

Ehretia anacua (knockaway)

Lonicera sempervirens (trumpet honeysuckle)

Morella cerifera (wax myrtle)

Pavonia lasiopetala (rose pavonia)

Prunus mexicana (Mexican plum) and Prunus rivularis (creek plum)

Prunus serotina (black cherry)

Rhus aromatica (fragrant sumac) and Rhus lanceolata (prairie sumac and Rhus virens (evergreen sumac)

Sambucus nigra ssp. canadensis (common elderberry)

Sophora secundiflora (Texas mountain laurel)

Viburnum rufidulum (rusty blackhaw)

You can do your own search and see more choices by selecting "Hill Country Horticulture" from the Special Collections on our Native Plants Database page and then choosing the "Narrow your search by location, characteristics or growing conditions" option.


Callicarpa americana

Ehretia anacua

Lonicera sempervirens

Morella cerifera

Pavonia lasiopetala

Prunus mexicana

Prunus serotina

Rhus aromatica

Sambucus nigra ssp. canadensis

Sophora secundiflora

Viburnum rufidulum

 

 

 

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