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Monday - September 21, 2009

From: Round Rock, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Shrubs
Title: Evergreen shrub with fall color in Round Rock, TX
Answered by: Barbara Medford


I am looking for a shrub that has fall color much like the burning bush euonymus, but needs to be evergreen the rest of the year since it will be used as a foundation plant. Are there any plants that will do well in the Round Rock, Texas area?


Sorry, we don't get a catalog from the plant fairy for custom-designed plants. If you want evergreen, you don't get Fall color. If you want Fall color, you don't get evergreen. The plant you mentioned,  Euonymus alatus (Ohio State University) is native to northern China, Japan and Korea, and is becoming a problem invasive exotic in the parts of the United States where it is growing, none of which are anywhere close to Texas. There is a native member of this family, Euonymus americanus (bursting-heart), which does grow in a few East Texas counties, but is also deciduous and no Fall color.

So, the best we can do is offer you some evergreen plants suitable for foundation plants and native to the Williamson County area of Central Texas. You did not say if you needed plants for sun (more than 6 hours of sun a day), part shade (2 to 6 hours of sun) or shade (less than 2 hours of sun), so we will just go to our Recommended Species section, select on Central Texas, and then choose "shrub" for General Appearance. You can do the same thing, specifying Light Requirements and/or Soil Moisture to better suit the area you are planting. Follow the links to the page on each individual plant for more information on size, bloom and growing conditions.

Evergreen shrubs for Williamson County, TX:

Chrysactinia mexicana (damianita) - 1 to 2 ft. tall, blooms yellow April to September, low water use, sun

Ilex vomitoria (yaupon) - 12 to 25 ft. tall, some dwarf selections available, blooms white April and May, low water use, part shade

Leucophyllum frutescens (Texas barometer bush) - 2 to 5 ft. tall, blooms white, pink, violet January to December, most often after summer showers, low water use, sun or part shade

Mahonia trifoliolata (agarita) - 3 to 6 ft. tall, blooms yellow February to April, low water use, sun or part shade

Morella cerifera (wax myrtle) - 6 to 12 ft. tall, some dwarf varieties available, blooms green March and April, high water use, sun or part shade

Rhus virens (evergreen sumac) - 8 to 12 ft. tall, blooms white, yellow July and August, low water use, sun or part shade

Sophora secundiflora (Texas mountain-laurel) - 10 to 20 ft. tall, blooms blue, purple February and  March, medium water use, sun or part shade. Warning: The brilliant red seeds contain the highly poisonous alkaloid cytosine (or sophorine) - this substance is related to nicotine and is widely cited as a narcotic and hallucinogen.

From our Native Plant Image Gallery:

Chrysactinia mexicana

Ilex vomitoria

Leucophyllum frutescens

Mahonia trifoliolata

Morella cerifera

Rhus virens

Sophora secundiflora





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