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

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

QUESTION:

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!

ANSWER:

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.

HERBACEOUS PERENNIALS

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

SHRUBS

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

GRASSES

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

 

 

 

More Shrubs Questions

Non blooming Texas Mountain Laurel from Las Vegas NV
September 04, 2012 - Hi, I live in Las Vegas, Nevada and have a Texas Laurel and have had it for 2 years and still no purple flowers on it. Why won't it bloom ? Thank you.
view the full question and answer

Shrubs for 2,000 feet Elevation in AZ
January 23, 2016 - What shrubs can I plant in New River, AZ, 2,000 feet above sea level?
view the full question and answer

Cake decorations with flowers
February 25, 2009 - Can I decorate a cake with bluebonnets, lavender or mountain laurel blooms?
view the full question and answer

Failure of Viburnum dentatum to produce berries in Maryland
September 20, 2008 - I planted several Viburnum dentatum shrubs in a hedgerow for my yard. Although I have some other viburnums in the yard, this shrub blooms profusely but does not ever produce berries. What can I do t...
view the full question and answer

Epiphytic or halophytic trees and shrubs
December 10, 2008 - Hello I was searching on this issue, but couldn't find what I really want, and I would be great full for your assistance. Please could you help me to find the scientific name for the "Trees" or...
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