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?


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
14 ratings

Wednesday - October 21, 2009

From: Raleigh, NC
Region: Southeast
Topic: Shrubs
Title: Evergreen shrubs for full sun in North Carolina
Answered by: Nan Hampton


We need suggestions for native NC evergreen shrubs that will grow well in full sun for a school garden. Most of what I've found likes part shade. We need something that will not be over 10 feet or can be pruned. Will the leucothoe/ilex species tolerate full sun in Raleigh NC. Thanks so much!


Ilex glabra (inkberry), Ilex myrtifolia (myrtle dahoon), and Ilex vomitoria (yaupon) should all do well in partial shade and full sun. However, according to University of Connecticut Plant Database, Leucothoe axillaris (coastal doghobble) and Leucothoe fontanesiana (highland doghobble) do best in partial shade.

Here are some other evergreen shrubs that are native to North Carolina that should thrive in full sun.  However, you should check the other 'Growing Conditions' on each species' page to determine if they meet the conditions of your site:

Gordonia lasianthus (loblolly bay)

Chamaedaphne calyculata (leatherleaf)

Juniperus communis var. depressa (common juniper) and here are photos and more information.

Kalmia latifolia (mountain laurel)

Morella cerifera (wax myrtle)

Morella caroliniensis (southern bayberry) and here are photos.

Morella pensylvanica (northern bayberry)

Sabal minor (dwarf palmetto)

Taxus canadensis (Canada yew) and here are photos.

Ilex glabra

Ilex myrtifolia

Ilex vomitoria

Gordonia lasianthus

Chamaedaphne calyculata

Kalmia latifolia

Morella cerifera

Morella pensylvanica

Sabal minor



More Shrubs Questions

Plants for a Shaded Slope in Philadelphia
April 17, 2015 - I have a small slope along the North side of my house in a suburb of Philadelphia. A small maple tree grows there but most of it gets no sun at all (a large segment is under the tree). I had the soil ...
view the full question and answer

Shrubs for planting under hollies in DC
April 01, 2011 - I would like shrub suggestions for planting under holly trees. I live in Washington, DC and have 2 very well-established large holly trees (2 story tall trees) in the front of our house, facing north...
view the full question and answer

Trees Planted Over Underground Parking Garage
July 13, 2014 - I live in an apartment complex. We have trees planted over an underground parking lot. I know the names of all the trees and I want to know how much soil they should be planted in to NOT cause damage ...
view the full question and answer

Will desert rose (Rosa stellata) survive in south Florida
July 30, 2008 - I have a mature desert rose and I wanted to plant it in the ground. I live in southwest Florida.I want to know will it survive and should I wait to plant it next year?
view the full question and answer

How to deal with suckers on Flame-leaf Sumac
May 20, 2013 - Hi! It seems you can have too much of a good thing! Our flameleaf sumac is taking over our yard. There are multiple shoots appearing in our flower beds and in the lawn. How do I get rid of the unwante...
view the full question and answer

Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.
© 2015 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center