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?

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
Not Yet Rated

Sunday - March 23, 2008

From: Austin, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Shrubs
Title: Native shrub for north window in Austin, TX
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

Hello. I am trying to find a native shrub to provide privacy next to a low north-facing window and protection from northerly winds in the winter. I would like to find a shrub with a maximum height of 6 ft., evergreen or nearly evergreen, and native to either the Blackland Prairie or Edwards Plateau, or both. Thanks!

ANSWER:

We found some that are native at least to the Austin area and the Edwards Plateau, but not necessarily native to the Blackland Prairie. There were not many to choose from, as you wanted privacy and shelter, which called for evergreen bushes. The last two are distributed naturally in Texas, and make excellent screening shrubs. Follow the plant links to webpages with growing conditions, etc. They are all chosen because they will tolerate part shade, since they will be planted on the north side of the house.

Leucophyllum frutescens (Texas barometer bush)

Sophora secundiflora (Texas mountain-laurel) - remember, this has toxic seeds

Cordia boissieri (anacahuita)

Larrea tridentata (creosote bush) - this emits toxins which keeps anything from growing under it

Malpighia glabra (wild crapemyrtle)

Morella cerifera (wax myrtle)

Ilex vomitoria (yaupon)


Leucophyllum frutescens

Sophora secundiflora

Cordia boissieri

Larrea tridentata

Malpighia glabra

Morella cerifera

Ilex vomitoria

 

 

More Shrubs Questions

Evergreen for privacy screen in Northern California
October 19, 2012 - Hello, My neighbor just logged their property and we need a very quick growing evergreen shrub/tree (for privacy of ugly cabin) that grows to at least 10' -15' tall. We live in northern Cal. about ...
view the full question and answer

Small evergreen shrubs for horse barn in North Carolina
September 26, 2009 - I want to plant some low growing evergreen shrubs in pots in my paddock around my barn. The horses can occasionally be in this are but not for an extended time. I am in NC. Any suggestions?
view the full question and answer

Mountain Laurel suffering from Spring freeze
May 12, 2015 - I have a 4 1/2 ft Texas Mountain Laurel shrub in current location for several years. A hard freeze this spring killed every leaf on the tree, but the stems remained green. My other smaller Mt. Laure...
view the full question and answer

Drought resistant flowering plants for Spring, TX
January 25, 2012 - Hi Mr. Smarty Pants. I live in Spring Tx. and wanted to plant a garden in my front yard. I'm looking for flowering plants that are colorful, easy to manage, and drought resistant but so far can't fi...
view the full question and answer

Need recommendations for privacy screen in Richmond, VA
February 27, 2013 - Hello, I read through the previous posts on privacy screen plantings in the Mid Atlantic region. There was a lot of great information, but I has a specific question that was not answered. I would li...
view the full question and answer

Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.
E-NEWSLETTER | BECOME A MEMBER | DONATE NOW | MEDIA | JOBS | SITEMAP | STAFF INTRANET
© 2016 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center