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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 - 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

 

 

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