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

What hydrangeas can be grown in Austin?
June 02, 2011 - I was told that oak leaf hydrangea was the only hydrangea variety that could be successfully grown in Austin TX. My oakleaf hydrangea is doing great and I would like to plant other varieties. Can you...
view the full question and answer

Plants for steep slope in California
February 21, 2010 - I have steep slope, southwestern facing, minimal shade in Southern California. The soil is rocky. Because of fire danger, I would rather not plant grasses. Do you have a suggestion?
view the full question and answer

Getting rid of wild plums (Prunus angustifolia)
July 28, 2008 - When I bought my land, there was a humongous thicket of wild plums (Prunus angustifolia) approx 10 ft high and covering 5-10 acres. I raise goats, and have known that wild plums (the leaves) can cause...
view the full question and answer

Need suggestions for a small tree for cemetery in NH.
August 30, 2012 - I would like suggestions for picking a SMALL tree for a rural cemetery in Winchester, NEW HAMPSHIRE. Would the delicate Japanese Elm be suitable for the weather, etc?
view the full question and answer

Name for paloverde look-alike near Colorado Springs
July 26, 2011 - I don't know where this plant comes from. However, I am wondering what the name of plant of the following description would be. It is a shrub, about 2 to 3 feet tall and wide. It grows in zone 6 t...
view the full question and answer

Smarty Plants's Facebook profile Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.

Mr. Smarty Plants wants you to be his Facebook friend. Click the Facebook icon to add yourself to Mr. Smarty Plants list of friends.
E-NEWSLETTER | BECOME A MEMBER | DONATE NOW | MEDIA | SITEMAP
© 2014 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center