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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.

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Ask Mr. Smarty Plants is a free service provided by the staff and volunteers at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center.

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Thursday - May 01, 2008

From: Austin, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Privacy Screening
Title: Evergreen shrubs for screen
Answered by: Nan Hampton

QUESTION:

I'd like your recommendation for an evergreen shrub (flowers would be a nice bonus but not as necessary as the evergreen factor) or small tree with a height hopefully under 12' and a width hopefully less than 3' or 4'. This is to help with the view out our living room windows which look out at our neighbors red brick. The shrubs or small trees would be planted on the northern exposure side of the house. There is some sunlight when the sun is high up, but not direct - there are no other trees on that side providing any shade. I'm thinking a yew, evergreen sumac, nandina, dwarf wax myrtle or some type of virburnum. Thanks for the help!

ANSWER:

Here are some evergreen native shrubs/small trees that should do well in partial shade and have attractive flowers and/or berries.

Rhus virens (evergreen sumac)—flowers and berries

Sophora secundiflora (Texas mountain-laurel)—great flowers

Ilex vomitoria (yaupon)—small flowers, but beautiful red berries

Leucophyllum frutescens (Texas cenizo)—great purple flowers that bloom after rains at various times of year

Morella cerifera (wax myrtle)—berries for birds

Prunus caroliniana (Carolina laurelcherry)—flowers and berries

As far as I know, there are no Viburnum species native to Texas that are evergreen.

There are no yew trees native to Texas.

Please don't use Nandina domestica—it is not native and is listed on the TexasInvasives.org web site.


Rhus virens

Sophora secundiflora

Ilex vomitoria

Leucophyllum frutescens

Morella cerifera

Prunus caroliniana

 

 

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