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

Monday - May 11, 2009

From: West Covina, CA
Region: California
Topic: Grasses or Grass-like, Herbs/Forbs, Shrubs, Trees
Title: Landscape color for Rialto, CA
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

My sister-in-law lives in Rialto CA near the base of the San Bernardino Mt ranges and it gets very windy out there. She and I were trying to figure out the best native plants for her area. Her home faces north and catches the wind head on. Any suggestions to bring color to her landscape?

ANSWER:

The best thing to do is go to Recommended Species, click on Southern California on the map, and then Narrow Your Search to the types of plants you want. For instance, you could pick "herbs" (herbaceous flowering plants) under Habit, "perennial" under duration, "sun" (6 or more hours of sun daily) for Light Requirements, and indicate the soil moisture, for instance "dry." You can repeat the same sequence to find shrubs and trees, even grasses, for the area. You follow each plant link to the webpage on that specific plant, and find out when it blooms (if it does), what colors, and how delicate or sturdy it is reported to be. We will demonstrate the process with some suggested plants. Since we don't know what your sunlight situation is, or the moisture of your soil, we will choose some from each category with "sun or part shade" as requirements, and dry soil. You can then go back, repeat the process but insert your own specifications and see what you can find. In other words, you will have a tailor-made plant list for your conditions. Here is our "practice list."

Perennial flowering plants

Lupinus polyphyllus (bigleaf lupine) - 3 to 5 ft. tall, blooms pink, blue, purple in May, sun or part shade, dry soil

Nolina parryi (Parry's beargrass) - 18 to 30 inches tall, blooms white April to June, sun, dry soil

Penstemon centranthifolius (scarlet bugler) - to 3 ft. tall, blooms red April to July, sun, dry soil

Sphaeralcea ambigua (desert globemallow) - 1 to 3 ft. tall, blooms orange February to November, low water use, sun

Shrubs

Arctostaphylos hookeri (Hooker's manzanita) - 2 to 4 ft. tall, evergreen, blooms white, pink February to April, sun or part shade, moist or dry soil

Artemisia tridentata (big sagebrush) - to 9 ft. tall, evergreen, blooms yellow in June, medum water use, sun

Ceanothus leucodermis (chaparral whitethorn) - 4 to 8 ft. tall, evergreen, blooms white, blue April to June, sun, dry soil

Gaultheria shallon (salal) - 1 to 4 ft., evergreen, blooms white, pink April to July, high water use, sun, part shade

Trees

Chilopsis linearis (desert willow) - 15 to 30 ft., deciduous, blooms white, pink, purple April to September, low water use, sun

Cercis canadensis var. texensis (Texas redbud) - 10 to 20 ft. tall, deciduous, blooms pink, purple March and April, medium water use, sun, part shade

Cercocarpus montanus var. glaber (birchleaf mountain mahogany) - 8 to 20 ft. tall, semi-evergreen, blooms yellow April and May, low water use, sun

Fraxinus velutina (velvet ash) - to 40 ft. tall, deciduous, blooms yellow April and May, low water use, sun

Grasses

Bouteloua curtipendula (sideoats grama) - 2 to 3 ft. tall, medium water use, sun, part shade

Bothriochloa laguroides ssp. torreyana (silver beardgrass) - 3 to 6 ft., low water use, sun

Scleropogon brevifolius (burrograss) - to 9 inches tall, low water use, sun

Schizachyrium scoparium (little bluestem) - 18 to 24 inches, low water use, sun, part shade


Lupinus polyphyllus

Nolina parryi

Penstemon centranthifolius

Sphaeralcea ambigua

Arctostaphylos hookeri

Artemisia tridentata

Ceanothus leucodermis

Gaultheria shallon

Chilopsis linearis

Cercis canadensis var. texensis

Cercocarpus montanus var. glaber

Fraxinus velutina

Bouteloua curtipendula

Bothriochloa laguroides ssp. torreyana

Scleropogon brevifolius

Schizachyrium scoparium

 

 

 

 

More Shrubs Questions

Non-native dwarf palm leaves yellowing in Katy TX
March 30, 2013 - 1 month ago we planted dwarf palms, the leaves are turning yellow, does this mean we are over watering them? If so how much water do they require? Is there anything we can give them? We also have a fa...
view the full question and answer

Hardiness of Acerola bush for Conway AR
January 25, 2013 - How far north can you grow an Acerola bush? I live in Conway, AR, which is north of Little Rock.We used to be Zone 7, but now we are on the edge of Zone 8, I believe.
view the full question and answer

Propagation of Simsia calva from Albuquerque NM
January 27, 2014 - Hi - I was given some simsia calva seed from the LBJ wildflower center. It doesn't have a lot of info about starting the seeds, so any help is much appreciated! I tried starting some outdoors last ye...
view the full question and answer

Transplanting American beautyberry in Cordele GA
May 19, 2014 - Is mid to late May too late in the season to transplant Callicarpa americana, American Beautyberry?
view the full question and answer

Problems with Eves necklacepods (Styphnolobium affine)
March 25, 2008 - Mr. S-P, I urgently need your advice regarding two Eve's necklacepods that appear to be dying. They are in two completely different areas of my yard. One began leafing out and then the leaves sh...
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