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
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

Groundcover for clay soil in Southern California
August 08, 2012 - I live in Southern California and have hard packed clay soil in my yard. Could you recommend ground cover that would be green, low to the ground, require little water and survive in clay? I can't a...
view the full question and answer

Raingarden Plants for Brownsville, TX
March 14, 2014 - I'm a Landscape Architect in South Texas and I'm implementing raingardens and vegetated swales in my projects. What native plants could be used in these gardens/water runways. They would need to res...
view the full question and answer

Narrow strip of groundcover from Sonora TX
April 29, 2013 - I have an area that is right under my patio about 12 feet by 1 ft. I'm looking for something to plant in there. It has afternoon sun, morning shade. I live in SW Texas so it is hot. but would like so...
view the full question and answer

Ground cover for a bank in PA
April 28, 2012 - I live in Landisburg, PA, (zone 6). I need to find some ground cover for a primarily full sun bank that is roughly 10-12' down over the embankment and up to 100' long. This area wraps around our po...
view the full question and answer

Vine for full sun in Las Vegas NV
July 05, 2013 - Looking for vine to thrive in full sun in Las Vegas, NV. I tried Cape Honeysuckle and Star Jasmine and both died within 5 days. The leaves were burnt. What's your suggestion? Thank you.
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