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Friday - June 06, 2008

From: Austin, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Shrubs
Title: Native sun shrubs and perennials to replace St. Augustine
Answered by: Barbara Medford


Hi, I live in Austin and I'm removing the St. Augustine from the southwest side of our house. This area gets intense sun all afternoon, and I'd really like to use a combination of native shrubs and perennials there. Any suggestions? Thanks!


Hooray for you, disposing of the non-native, water-gulping St. Augustine. And of course you want native shrubs and perennials to replace it, because natives are adapted to where they are, with less need for water, fertilization and maintenance. We are going to go to the Recommended Species section of our website, select Central Texas on the map, and then Narrow Your Search, first, for state-Texas, habit-herb (herbaceous perennials), duration-perennial, light requirement-6 or more hours of sun a day, and dry for soil moisture. After that, we'll make the same selections, except substitute shrub for habit, and, finally, substituting grasses for habit. You can do the same thing, making your own choices based on personal preferences and we'll select some of our favorites to suggest to you. Be sure and read all the webpages that our links take you to, in order to have as much information for selection as possible. All the plants in our Recommended Species lists are commercially available. Then, when you're ready to shop, go to Suppliers on our website, type in the name of your town and state in the Enter Search Location box and you will get native plant nurseries, seed companies and landscape professionals in your general area, most of them with websites or phone numbers so you can find out if they have what you want.


Asclepias tuberosa (butterfly milkweed) - attracts butterflies, blooms yellow, orange May to September

Callirhoe involucrata (purple poppymallow) - blooms white, pink, purple March to June

Echinacea purpurea (eastern purple coneflower) - blooms pink, purple April to September

Wedelia texana (hairy wedelia) - blooms orange, yellow May to November


Chrysactinia mexicana (damianita) - blooms yellow, April to September

Eysenhardtia texana (Texas kidneywood) - blooms white May to October

Malvaviscus arboreus var. drummondii (wax mallow) - attracts hummingbirds, blooms red May to November.

Salvia greggii (autumn sage) - attracts hummingbirds, blooms white, red, pink March to May


Andropogon glomeratus (bushy bluestem) - 2-5 ft tall, striking in winter

Bouteloua curtipendula (sideoats grama) - 2-3 ft tall, blooms red, yellow June to November

Panicum virgatum (switchgrass) - 3-6 ft tall, blooms green, brown August to October

Sorghastrum nutans (Indiangrass) - 3 -8 ft tall, blooms yellow August to October

Asclepias tuberosa

Callirhoe involucrata

Echinacea purpurea

Wedelia texana

Chrysactinia mexicana

Eysenhardtia texana

Malvaviscus arboreus var. drummondii

Salvia greggii

Andropogon glomeratus

Bouteloua curtipendula

Panicum virgatum

Sorghastrum nutans




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