En EspaŅol

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
1 rating

Wednesday - May 02, 2007

From: Austin, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Soils, Groundcovers, Shade Tolerant, Shrubs
Title: Native plants for heavy clay soil in east Austin
Answered by: Nan Hampton

QUESTION:

I live in East Austin and have very thick clay soil on my property. I also have a lot of shade and partial sun/shade. Can you suggest some native plant varieties that are well-adapted to these conditions? I am looking for groundcover as well as small shrubs or bushes? Many of the native plants I see at local nursuries like more sandy, well-drained soil and lots of direct sun!

ANSWER:

The following will grow in partial shade and tolerate Austin's heavy clay soils.

Groundcovers:

Phyla nodiflora (Texas frogfruit)

Rivina humilis (pigeon-berry)

Carex texensis (Texas sedge)


Shrubs:

Callicarpa americana (American beautyberry)

Calylophus berlandieri ssp. pinifolius (Berlandier's sundrops)

Leucophyllum frutescens (cenizo)

Morella cerifera (wax myrtle)

Pavonia lasiopetala (rose mallow)

Rhus aromatica (fragrant sumac)

Rhus virens (evergreen sumac)

Sophora secundiflora (mountain laurel)


Phyla nodiflora

Rivina humilis

Carex texensis

Callicarpa americana

Calylophus berlandieri ssp. pinifolius

Leucophyllum frutescens

Morella cerifera

Pavonia lasiopetala

Rhus aromatica

Rhus virens

Sophora secundiflora

 

 

More Soils Questions

Brown leaves on Burr Oak from Dripping Springs TX
October 05, 2013 - We have recently planted a 15 gal. burr oak in an correct hole with great soil and plenty of watering in. We have noticed some brown leaves. Should we be worried?
view the full question and answer

Cold hardiness zones for plants from Jackson MS
October 02, 2010 - How to search the plant database by cold-hardiness zone? Is it possible to do combination search by zone (not just state?) With the information provided with plant, I do not see the zone listed. Ma...
view the full question and answer

Plants for soil with basalt outcroppings in Idaho
March 30, 2008 - We have basalt (lava) outcropping in part of our back yard and know we'll have to search for pockets of soil in which to plant. Any suggestions about what trees or shrubs would have a chance in thes...
view the full question and answer

Native plants for clay soil in Lathrop MO
March 21, 2011 - My family just moved to the north Kansas City, MO area and would like to know what native species, both perennial and tree, will do best in the clay soil. It has already proven problematic as we have ...
view the full question and answer

Growing bluebonnets in pot in Flower Mound TX
November 01, 2011 - We received a package of bluebonnet seeds along with the DVD Wildflowers: Seeds of History as a gift. In the film, Andrea DeLong mentions that bluebonnets did not grow well in a rich organic soil. W...
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 | STAFF
© 2015 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center