En EspaŅol

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
Can't find the answer in our existing FAQs, submit a question to Mr. Smarty Plants.
Need help with plant identification, visit the plant identification page.
 
rate this answer
Not Yet Rated

Wednesday - June 11, 2008

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

QUESTION:

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!

ANSWER:

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

 

 

More Shrubs Questions

Are Chickasaw plums evergreen?
August 13, 2014 - Are Chickasaw Plums evergreens? I've been very interested in planting a few but some websites say they are evergreens while others say the opposite. Furthermore, would I have to plant a male and fema...
view the full question and answer

Propagating Bauhinia lunarioides
November 28, 2015 - For a Master Gardener Intern project I am attempting to propagate the native orchid tree/Anacacho, Bauhinia lunarioides via root, cuttings, and seed. I have scarified the seeds - how long should it ta...
view the full question and answer

Reducing the Height of a Redbud Tree
January 23, 2016 - We have a very large, about 15-year old, Redbud tree that is growing so tall it's obstructing our view of the river. How and when can we prune this tree back so it does not hurt the tree.
view the full question and answer

Native perennials for Ft. Worth TX
March 17, 2013 - Mr. Smarty Pants, I have two large planters around the back side of my saltwater pool where there is no decking. (sloped landscape) 8'long x 3' wide. I need low growing perennial plants that will ...
view the full question and answer

Shrubs for a barrier in Ft. Worth TX
February 22, 2014 - Hello, I'm looking for a natural barrier as an alternative to a fence in my backyard. I see several other questions answered relating to this but I'm looking for something specifically as a nativ...
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 | SITEMAP | STAFF
© 2016 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center