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

Mountain Laurel slowly dying in San Antonio, TX
December 26, 2012 - My Texas Mountain Laurel seems to be dying in a slow unusual manner. Over the past two weeks the leaves have been turning yellow and falling off starting with the south facing side of my multi-tru...
view the full question and answer

Privacy screen from Temecula CA
May 04, 2013 - I live in Temecula and need a fast growing tree by our pool that is good to block neighbors house.
view the full question and answer

What hydrangeas can be grown in Austin?
June 02, 2011 - I was told that oak leaf hydrangea was the only hydrangea variety that could be successfully grown in Austin TX. My oakleaf hydrangea is doing great and I would like to plant other varieties. Can you...
view the full question and answer

Is non-native cotoneaster poisonous to goats from Eureka CA
August 19, 2011 - I have heard that cotoneaster is poisonous to goats and other animals. We are trying to get rid of it in our yard, but I was hoping we could use goats to eat it back. What are our options in removin...
view the full question and answer

Is Texas Mountain Laurel Honey Toxic in Fulshear, TX?
March 11, 2012 - Toxicity of Texas Mountain Laurel HONEY I know the seeds and leaves of the Tx Mountain Laurel are toxic. But, is honey that comes from the Mountain Laurel toxic too? I heard that it is, but can'...
view the full question and answer

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