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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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Friday - May 23, 2008

From: Reston, VA
Region: Mid-Atlantic
Topic: Shade Tolerant
Title: Native plants for dry shade in Virginia
Answered by: Nan Hampton

QUESTION:

I live in Reston, Virginia and have dry shade. What are the best plants to use for my garden. Xeriscaping and native plants are important considerations.

ANSWER:

You can find a list of commerically available native plant species suitable for planned landscapes in Virginia by visiting our Recommended Species page and choosing Virginia from the map there. Once this list of over 120 species appears, you can use the "Narrow Your Search" option to find plants that will grow in dry shade by making these selections under "Light requirement" and "Soil moisture". This will give you a list of 27 species. Here are examples from that list:

Shrubs

Ceanothus americanus (New Jersey tea)

Hypericum prolificum (shrubby St. Johnswort)

Lindera benzoin (northern spicebush)

Symphoricarpos orbiculatus (coralberry)

Herbs

Aquilegia canadensis (red columbine)

Coreopsis lanceolata (lanceleaf tickseed)

Lupinus perennis (sundial lupine)

Rudbeckia hirta (blackeyed Susan)

If part of your area receives more than 2 hours of sunlight a day, you can change your selection choices and almost double the number of species that fit your criteria.


Ceanothus americanus

Hypericum prolificum

Lindera benzoin

Symphoricarpos orbiculatus

Aquilegia canadensis

Coreopsis lanceolata

Lupinus perennis

Rudbeckia hirta

 

 

 

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