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Wednesday - June 11, 2008

From: Austin, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Shrubs
Title: Native trees and shrubs for Austin
Answered by: Barbara Medford


Hello, I'm searching for a small or medium-sized endemic or native tree (or tree-like shrub) to feature in the front yard of my South Austin bungalow. I want something that provides dappled shade so I can grow a wide variety of plants beneath it, something long lived and preferably thorn-free (but that's the lowest priority). I like the shape of the mimosa and the mesquite, but they don't qualify. Crepe myrtle doesn't seem quite as Texan as I'd like. Perhaps a sumac? Love your site!


Crape myrtle isn't even considered native to North America, but to Korea, China and Japan. And the crape myrtles available commercially have been so extensively hybridized for color and time of bloom, they would hardly be recognizable in their original forms. But there are several small trees and large shrubs that LOOOOve Austin, and will give you a range of choice.

Bauhinia lunarioides (Texasplume)

Cercis canadensis var. mexicana (Mexican redbud)

Chilopsis linearis (desert willow)

Prunus mexicana (Mexican plum)

Taxodium distichum (bald cypress)

Eysenhardtia texana (Texas kidneywood)

Ilex decidua (possumhaw)

Rhus virens (evergreen sumac)

Bauhinia lunarioides

Cercis canadensis var. mexicana

Chilopsis linearis

Prunus mexicana

Taxodium distichum

Eysenhardtia texana

Ilex decidua

Rhus virens



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