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
1 rating

Sunday - March 15, 2009

From: Gilroy, CA
Region: California
Topic: Drought Tolerant
Title: Drought tolerant plants for Gilroy, California
Answered by: Nan Hampton

QUESTION:

We live in Gilroy, CA. We want to plant drought tolerant plants native to our area. We already have native sycamores and oak trees, manzanita and snowberry shrubs, and we have a list of local wildflowers that we are working on. Do you have suggestions on other types of plants, such as grasses, other shrubs, and trees? We live near a creek. Temps in the summer are typically 90-103 degrees (can go up to 115). Temps in winter typically go down to 32 for a few weeks and can reach as low as 26.

ANSWER:

Good Job!  It sounds as if you have made a fine start.  Here are several other possibilities:

SHRUBS

Artemisia californica (coastal sagebrush)

Eriogonum fasciculatum (Eastern Mojave buckwheat)

Ribes aureum (golden currant)

Baccharis pilularis (coyotebrush)

Ceanothus leucodermis (chaparral whitethorn)

Mahonia nevinii (Nevin's barberry)

Dendromecon rigida (tree poppy)

Fremontodendron californicum (California flannelbush)

Shepherdia argentea (silver buffaloberry)

TREES

Acer negundo (boxelder)

Prunus ilicifolia ssp. lyonii (hollyleaf cherry)

Umbellularia californica (California laurel)

GRASSES

Koeleria macrantha (prairie Junegrass)

Festuca californica (California fescue)

Sporobolus airoides (alkali sacaton)

You can find more recommended plants for Northern California by selecting that area from the map or from the pulldown menu on our Recommended Species page.


Artemisia californica

Eriogonum fasciculatum

Ribes aureum

Baccharis pilularis

Ceanothus leucodermis

Mahonia nevinii

Dendromecon rigida

Fremontodendron californicum

Shepherdia argentea

Acer negundo

Prunus ilicifolia ssp. lyonii

Umbellularia californica

Koeleria macrantha

Festuca californica

Sporobolus airoides

 

 

More Drought Tolerant Questions

Native Plant for a Sunny South-facing House Wall in Tucson
March 01, 2014 - I have a problematic block wall on the south side of the house and I what a plant to soften the look of the wall. I tried butterfly bush which I'm told died from of bounce-back heat from the wall. I ...
view the full question and answer

Leaves dropping on evergreen sumac in San Antonio
January 11, 2012 - I have a large evergreen sumac in my back yard that started off as a small shrub 10 years ago. This summer the leaves turned red and now have dropped off. Is the plant dead? It sent out two smaller pl...
view the full question and answer

Groundcover for Austin yard
March 08, 2012 - My main goal is to cover my yard with a "grass" or groundcover that can handle the Texas heat, predicted long drought and some dog paw traffic (without going dormant/brown in the winter). I don't n...
view the full question and answer

Drought-tolerant plants for landscaping
November 13, 2007 - Dear Mr. Smarty Plants, Our HOA is wanting to change the landscaping to Drought-tolerant plants and flowers. The area is Grayson County, south of Sherman Texas. What plants and flowers would you su...
view the full question and answer

Drought resistant small tree for Ft. Worth TX
May 22, 2013 - I am looking for suggestions for a small tree (no more than 25 feet max)that is drought resistant but can handle a little irrigation and a lot of wind. Something showy is a plus. Grouped with salvias ...
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