En Español

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

Please forgive us, but Mr. Smarty Plants has been overwhelmed by a flood of mail and must take a break for awhile to catch up. We hope to be accepting new questions again soon. Thank you!

Need help with plant identification, visit the plant identification page.

rate this answer
Not Yet Rated

Sunday - September 02, 2007

From: Austin, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Shrubs
Title: Native landscape in Central Austin
Answered by: Damon Waitt


We live in Central Austin and are landscaping part of yard. We planted a 30 gallon red oak tree, built sizeable beds around it and want to complete the landscaping with native grasses, shrubs, climbing flowers, and irises. We would like the plants (or a majority of them) to be evergreen. We are thinking of the lemon beebalm, coral honeysuckle, and prairie rose as start but are getting lost in the "weeds" to complete our project. Please help in any way you can.


It can get a bit overwhelming given so many different options for evergreen native grasses, shrubs, climbing flowers, and irises in central Texas. Your best bet is to start with Hill Country Horticulture - Native plants for the Central Texas Hill Country. Once you have the full list displayed you can narrow your search by habit, duration, flower color, etc. until you settle on the plants that have the characteristics you desire. For example here are few evergreen shrubs that might suit your needs. Although they don't have spectacularly showy flowers, they do have colorful berries that attract birds.

Morella cerifera (wax myrtle)

Rhus virens (evergreen sumac)

Prunus caroliniana (Carolina laurelcherry)

Morella cerifera

Rhus virens

Prunus caroliniana



More Shrubs Questions

No berries on dogwoods in GA
November 18, 2010 - I have 4 native dogwood trees. I have owned the property for 4 years. They have never produced berries. Can you tell me why? are the trees male and female, and could I have all males?
view the full question and answer

Non-berrying possumhaw from Austin
June 05, 2014 - I planted a possumhaw 8 to 10 years ago for the beautiful winter color, it has never set berries. I see tiny white flowers along the branches each spring, and always hope this will be the year, but I...
view the full question and answer

Is non-native cotoneaster poisonous to goats from Eureka CA
August 19, 2011 - I have heard that cotoneaster is poisonous to goats and other animals. We are trying to get rid of it in our yard, but I was hoping we could use goats to eat it back. What are our options in removin...
view the full question and answer

Will Calycanthus floridus (Eastern sweetshrub) grow near black walnut trees?
April 01, 2012 - Will Calycanthus floridus survive if planted near Black Walnut trees? If not, can you recommend a similar bush that will?
view the full question and answer

Shrubs and trees over septic tank in Killen AL
May 20, 2013 - Our church has 5year old blue rug juniper, a crape myrtle and two shrubs I can't identify planted over the septic tank which is surrounded with concrete and asphalt. I am afraid these will cause a pr...
view the full question and answer

Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.
© 2016 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center