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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.

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Ask Mr. Smarty Plants is a free service provided by the staff and volunteers at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center.

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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!

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Friday - March 20, 2009

From: Henderson, NV
Region: Rocky Mountain
Topic: Seed and Plant Sources
Title: Replacing grass with xeric plants in Nevada
Answered by: Nina Hawkins

QUESTION:

I am looking to xeriscape my front yard - remove all grass! I am thinking 3-4 larger plants: bird of paradise (mesquite??), aloe, and ..?? Also, possibly a Chilean mesquite. Do you have suggestions on plants that would be appropriate/water conserving? I've seen pictures that I like, but it's tough to find plants and their Latin names on the internet, as well as cost estimates for consumers of these plants.

ANSWER:

Congratulations on removing your lawn!  You are sure to save a lot of water - a very precious resource in your desert climate.  Below is a list of trees and shrubs that are native to Clark County, Nevada and should therefore be very well adapted to your conditions.  You'll notice that one of them is Honey Mesquite, which is mistakenly referred to by some as Chilean Mesquite, but is native to the United States.  Since Aloe is native to Africa and not to North America, Mr. Smarty Plants cannot recommend it.  Other resources you may find useful are the Recommended Species page for Nevada and our Suppliers page where you can find information about purveyors of native plants near you.  Good luck with your front yard transformation!

 


Quercus gambelii

Amelanchier utahensis

Juniperus scopulorum

Pinus ponderosa

Prosopis glandulosa

Rhus glabra

Mahonia repens

Fallugia paradoxa

Purshia tridentata

 


Yucca brevifolia
 

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