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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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Thursday - May 03, 2007

From: Dallas, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Shrubs
Title: Native evergreen shrub for Dallas
Answered by: Nan Hampton

QUESTION:

Mr. Smarty Plants, I live in Dallas and I am trying to look for a native evergreen shrub that blooms and works well in full to partial sun. I thought about "lantana" and/or a "firecracker", but some sites say they are or are not an evergreen, some say they do well or do not do well in freezing temps. Can you help me out with this or give some other suggestions? Thanks

ANSWER:

Lantana urticoides (Texas lantana) is not evergreen. When the temperature drops below freezing its leaves will freeze and turn brown.

Although Bouvardia ternifolia (firecrackerbush) is evergreen, it is native to west Texas (Big Bend area) and is not likely to do well in Dallas. It is rated for USDA Plant Hardiness Zones 9-11 (average minimum temperature for Zone 9 is 20-30 degrees F) and Dallas is in Zone 8 (average minimum temperature is 10-20 degrees F).

The following four shrubs/small trees are evergreen and are native in or near Dallas County. Although they don't have spectacularly showy flowers, they do have colorful berries that attract birds.

Morella cerifera (wax myrtle)

Rhus virens (evergreen sumac)

Ilex vomitoria (yaupon)

Prunus caroliniana (Carolina laurelcherry)


Morella cerifera

Rhus virens

Ilex vomitoria

Prunus caroliniana

 

 

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