Rent Shop Volunteer Join

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

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
1 rating

Wednesday - March 19, 2008

From: Longview, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Herbs/Forbs, Shrubs, Trees
Title: Native plants for city lot in Longview, TX
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

Just bought a city lot in Longview, TX and want to put in some plants at the periphery even before the house is built. Can you recommend any that would be from your list of East TX plants that are particularly hardy and that are suitable for wildlife farming, please?

ANSWER:

Before we even begin recommending native plants for your area, we want to caution you about doing any landscaping or planting before construction begins. We don't know the size of your property or the size of the building to go on it, but we can guarantee you that trucks, workmen, supplies, waste, etc. will be all over everywhere, once construction begins. There are a lot of chemicals used in various aspects of contruction, concrete is often mixed on-site, and heavy equipment comes and goes. Plus, your site is going to need a certain amount of grading and leveling, both for the stability of the foundation and for drainage. The guy driving the front-end loader or the bulldozer may mean well, but plants are mostly just in their way. We realize that it would be lovely to build a house and move into it with the landscape already well underway; however, we just don't think it is practical. Please refer to this article on Plan It, Dig It, Build It! for cautions and advice on preparation for construction.

So, whether you do it now or do it later, here are some suggestions for flowering perennials, shrubs and trees for your area. We went to our "Recommended Species" section, selected East Texas, and then clicked on "Narrow Your Search" and specified State (Texas), Habit (herb or flowering plants), Duration (perennial), Sun (6 or more hours of sun a day) and Soil Moisture (dry). This gave us this list of 14 appropriate flowering perennials for your area. We used the same technique for shrubs and trees. You can vary this list to your own tastes and requirements by checking different sun exposures and soil moisture for each type of plant. When you follow the links below to webpages on each plant, you can learn how tall they will grow, how they propagate, colors and bloom times, etc.

Many of these plants serve as food or shelter sources for wildlife.

Flowering Plants (herbs)

Achillea millefolium (common yarrow)

Coreopsis lanceolata (lanceleaf tickseed)

Echinacea purpurea (eastern purple coneflower)

Monarda fistulosa (wild bergamot)

Shrubs

Lantana urticoides (West Indian shrubverbena)

Malvaviscus arboreus var. drummondii (wax mallow)

Rhus glabra (smooth sumac)

Viburnum acerifolium (mapleleaf viburnum)

Trees

Cercis canadensis var. texensis (Texas redbud)

Fraxinus americana (white ash)

Ilex verticillata (common winterberry)

Quercus macrocarpa (bur oak)


Achillea millefolium

Coreopsis lanceolata

Echinacea purpurea

Monarda fistulosa

Lantana urticoides

Malvaviscus arboreus var. drummondii

Rhus glabra

Viburnum acerifolium

Cercis canadensis var. texensis

Fraxinus americana

Ilex verticillata

Quercus macrocarpa

 

 

 

More Trees Questions

Native trees as alternatives to Japanese Red Maple
October 24, 2007 - Where can I find some Japanese Red Maples to collect seed?
view the full question and answer

Problems with non-native indoor palm in Guilford CT
April 08, 2012 - My question is I have an indoor palm plant that I have had for 7 yrs. It has grown from about a 5" plant to about 3' tall plant. The past few weeks the leaves are turning yellow & brown and lost abo...
view the full question and answer

Live oak trees and possible drought stress in Lott, TX.
June 11, 2011 - One of our Live Oak trees is losing leaves in only a portion of it. I have researched Oak Wilt and I am not sure that is what it has. We have trees that are hundreds of years old and was wondering i...
view the full question and answer

Problems with red oak in New Braunfels TX
May 11, 2009 - One of my red oaks still doesn't have all its flowers. The main bark has some dark stuff oozing out and one of the branches has a fine powdery substance on it. HELP!!!!
view the full question and answer

Growing non-native grapefruit from seeds from Austin
April 30, 2013 - Can you grow ruby red grapefruit trees from seeds?
view the full question and answer

Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.