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Ask Mr. Smarty Plants is a free service provided by the staff and volunteers at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center.

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Sunday - November 29, 2009

From: Austin, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Planting, Groundcovers, Shade Tolerant, Shrubs
Title: Prairie wattle for woodland area in Austin
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

Can prairie wattle be grown in a woodland area? It would get part shade, with full sun for at least half a day. The soil is a bit rocky; location is Austin.

ANSWER:

There are two plants in our Native Plant Database with one of its common names being "prairie wattle." The first is Acacia angustissima (prairie acacia). This is a 1 to 3 foot tall ground cover type plant, blooms white June to September, has low water use and grows in sun (6 hours or more of sun a day) to part shade (2 to 6 hours of sun a day). "Soil Description: Sandy, Limestone-based, Calcareous; Sandy Loam, Medium Loam, Clay Loam, Clay; Well-drained"

The second member of the Legume, or pea, family in this genus is Acacia angustissima var. texensis (prairie wattle), which is a taller, more tree-like plant. This plant grows from 6 to 12 ft. tall, has low water use and can grow in sun, part shade or shade (less than 2 hours of sun a day). Conditions comments: "Will do well in dry soil on a north or east exposure, but will need water in the summer on a south or west exposure."

These plants are both thornless, and will die to the ground after the first hard freeze, returning in the Spring. 

From our Native Plant Image Gallery:


Acacia angustissima

Acacia angustissima var. texensis

 

 

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