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?


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
Not Yet Rated

Thursday - May 03, 2007

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


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


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



More Shrubs Questions

Removing Texas cedar Juniperus ashei from Blanco River banks
February 26, 2014 - Dear Mr. Smarty Plants, Should cedar trees be removed from our Blanco River banks to prevent them from sucking too much of our precious water before it makes it into the river system? If so, what s...
view the full question and answer

Patio Privacy Screen Suggestions for Central Texas
March 17, 2013 - I have just built a patio and want to plant some small trees, bushes or shrubs to form a visual barrier (rather than to erect a fence)to the neighbors yard.
view the full question and answer

When is the best time to transplant Esperanza bushe in Buda, TX?
September 04, 2013 - When is the best time to transplant an Esperanza bush? I want to move it because it is overwhelming my front yard. Thank you,
view the full question and answer

Death of Tecoma stans after heavy rain
July 21, 2008 - I had two esperanza plants. They have been planted for about four months, this spring. They were blooming and growing. We had six inches of rain in five days and they began to wilt - and then they d...
view the full question and answer

Will ceanothus grow in West Texas from Midland TX
August 17, 2013 - re: Ceanothus - you have two ceanothus in your data base. Will any of those grow in West Texas? (southern exposure, full sun)? Will any of the California native ceanothus grow in West Texas?
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.
© 2015 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center