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 Shrubs Questions

Growing non-native Knockout roses and golden euonymus together from Crystal City MO
May 19, 2013 - Can you plant knock out roses and golden euonymus together?
view the full question and answer

Care for heritage roses
October 07, 2007 - Dear Mr. SmartyPlants, I took some cuttings from an antique rose my grandmother had.I had good luck , had some of them grow for me. Some of them have blooms and others are long and lanky stems but n...
view the full question and answer

Failure of highbush blueberry plant to produce in New Hampshire
July 25, 2008 - One of my highbush blueberry plants completely stopped producing. What can I do to revive it?
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

Need options for smaller trees in neighborhoods in Austin, TX.
May 25, 2012 - Please discuss smaller tree options for typical Austin neighborhood yards. These houses are built close together on the sides, and only have smallish back yards. They just don't have space for big 50...
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