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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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Wednesday - April 18, 2007

From: Austin, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Trees
Title: Mixed native plantings for steep slope in Austin
Answered by: Nan Hampton


Dear Mr. Smarty Plants: We wrote to you recently about plantings for a fairly steep slope in a park in Austin. We had asked about grasses and perennials. An article about planting on slopes in this month's Organic Gardener recommends a mix of grasses, shrubs and trees because the root systems of each hold the soil at different depths. So we are hoping tht you can recommend some native small trees and shrubs for this part shade area. Thanks for your previous answer. We are using that information as the basis for our plan.


Here are a few suggestions for shrubs/small trees that do well in Central Texas in partial shade:

Callicarpa americana (American beautyberry)

Ilex decidua (possumhaw)

Ilex vomitoria (yaupon)

Pavonia lasiopetala (Texas swampmallow)

Prunus rivularis (creek plum)

Rhus aromatica (fragrant sumac)

Rhus virens (evergreen sumac)

Sophora secundiflora (mescal bean)

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

Ilex decidua

Ilex vomitoria

Pavonia lasiopetala

Prunus rivularis

Rhus aromatica

Rhus virens

Sophora secundiflora



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