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
Not Yet Rated

Wednesday - June 20, 2007

From: Elgin, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Shade Tolerant
Title: Sedges and ornamentals for shade in Bastrop County
Answered by: Nan Hampton

QUESTION:

I bought a home in Elgin, TX that was owned by an elderly woman. Most of the lawn is shaded by elm or pecan trees. In the sunny areas, i got native wildflowers to grow like lantana and coneflower, but the lawn is mostly horse herb, carpet grass, and mixed tall prairie grasses. What else can I plant in the shade that are native flowers? Could the grasses be replaced by cedar or Texas sedge in the sandy soil of Bastrop County? Would the sedge out compete the horse herb?

ANSWER:

There are three sedges that should do well in your area:

Carex planostachys (cedar sedge)

Carex texensis (Texas sedge)

Carex cherokeensis (Cherokee sedge)

The sedges are usually a little slow to get established, but Calyptocarpus vialis (straggler daisy or horse herb) should not out-compete them. To manage the grasses that are already there, you are going to have to dig them out and keep removing them as they reappear to keep them from taking over.

Here are a few other plants that do well in shade or part shade that are native to Bastrop County.

Ornamental grasses:

Chasmanthium latifolium (Indian woodoats)

Elymus canadensis (Canada wildrye)

Wildflowers:

Geum canadense (white avens)

Ruellia nudiflora (violet wild petunia)

Salvia lyrata (lyreleaf sage)

Symphyotrichum patens var. patens (late purple aster)

Calylophus berlandieri (Berlandier's sundrops)

Viola sororia (common blue violet)

Phyla nodiflora (turkey tangle fogfruit)

Lobelia cardinalis (cardinalflower)


Carex texensis

Chasmanthium latifolium

Elymus canadensis

Geum canadense

Ruellia nudiflora

Salvia lyrata

Symphyotrichum patens var. patens

Calylophus berlandieri

Viola sororia

Phyla nodiflora

Lobelia cardinalis

 

 

More Shade Tolerant Questions

Plants for shade
August 19, 2008 - I live in hot, humid Houston and the tree coverage of my yard is nearly 100 percent (so, little sunlight reaches the ground). Can you suggest a plant or two that would thrive in these conditions?
view the full question and answer

Vines for shade in North-Central Georgia
August 07, 2009 - I am looking for something to hide a 6' wood fence that will grow in almost full shade. I have an area approx 2 feet wide to plant in. Since the fence and planting areas are stepped -- about 8 feet f...
view the full question and answer

Carex as a shady turf alternative in Austin
November 10, 2009 - I just read your answer to Barbara Medford's question about what multi-species native grasses would work to create a shady lawn. While you had some wonderful suggestions you mention a homeowner's as...
view the full question and answer

Groundcover for shade in San Antonio
March 21, 2008 - I have a large red oak tree in the front yard. It is keeping any sun except filtered underneath. Faces n/w and in san antonio. I need a ground cover that is drought tolerant and likes the shade and h...
view the full question and answer

Deer resistant, shade tolerant trees for part shade in Highland MD
March 29, 2013 - Deer resistant privacy trees for partial shady area in Highland, MD.
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