Rent Shop Volunteer Join

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
Not Yet Rated

Wednesday - May 20, 2009

From: Benicia, CA
Region: California
Topic: Herbs/Forbs, Shrubs
Title: Native woodland plants for Benicia, California
Answered by: Nan Hampton

QUESTION:

I am planting in raised beds around redwood trees, Japanese maples and rhododendrons in my backyard. I would like suggestions for native woodland plants to accompany my established plants. The area is quite shady and the soil is rich. Thank you

ANSWER:

On our Recommended Species page choose Northern California from the map or the pulldown menu for a list of commercially available landscaping plants for the area.  Here are a few suggestions from that list that grow well in shade (less than 2 hours of sun per day):

Arctostaphylos uva-ursi (kinnikinnick)

Aquilegia formosa (western columbine)

Gaultheria shallon (salal)

Linnaea borealis (twinflower)

Rudbeckia hirta (blackeyed Susan)

Solidago altissima (late goldenrod)

Here are a couple of plants that aren't on that list but are native to Solano County and available at Bay Natives, one of our Associate Suppliers in your area:

Adiantum aleuticum (Aleutian maidenhair fern)

Triteleia laxa (Ithuriel's spear) and more information and photos


Arctostaphylos uva-ursi

Aquilegia formosa

Gaultheria shallon

Linnaea borealis

Rudbeckia hirta

Solidago altissima

Triteleia laxa

 

 

 

More Herbs/Forbs Questions

Shade tolerant Wildflowers for Oklahoma City
April 16, 2012 - I live in Oklahoma City. I'm not in town very often, and am seeking low maintenance plants. I have MANY trees in my backyard, which makes it quite shady. I have raised beds amongst my rock garden ...
view the full question and answer

Getting rid of Aphids on Asclepias plants in Brea, CA.
July 23, 2012 - I grow asclepsias or MILKWEED for the benefit of Monarchs. At times I have aphids consuming the leaves. How can I destroy the aphids without harming the Monarch eggs? Thank you very much.
view the full question and answer

Should black-eyed susan (Rudbeckia hirta) plants be cut back
May 02, 2007 - I have black-eyed susan plants that were beautiful last year and flowered for a long time. Do they need to be cut back and if so, how much?
view the full question and answer

Transplanting Trillium in Quebec.
May 13, 2009 - Dear Mr. Smarty Plants, I live in the Laurentiens of Quebec where they are putting a HWY in my back yard. I have a lot of white trillium that I am wanting to transplant before they start the excava...
view the full question and answer

Drooping leaves on iris in Phenix City, AL
May 02, 2009 - I had a bed FULL of iris rhizomes so I thinned them out and made two beds. They flowered perfectly but some of the flower stalks and some of the leaves began drooping over. The flowering is over. The ...
view the full question and answer

Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.