En Español

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

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

 

 

More Groundcovers Questions

Groundcover for parking strip in Pasadena, California
January 04, 2010 - Can you suggest a low growing, low maintenance plant which will spread to cover parking strip in Pasadena, California? Thank you.
view the full question and answer

Identification of plant, possibly Justicia pilosella, for groundcover
October 10, 2007 - I'm newly relocated to Texas and find I have a yard with three major types of green growing. Close to the house (and mostly shaded) is St. Augustine. Furthest out front, (unshaded) is the Bermudagra...
view the full question and answer

Ground cover for a clay/shale bank in PA
April 06, 2010 - We have a 200ft x 30ft bank in front of our house (PA) the soil is made up with clay and shale. what ground cover will grow fast
view the full question and answer

Coexistence of rubus trivialis and American beautyberry
May 28, 2007 - I'm growing some rubus trivialis in a 1-gal. pot and plan to plant it this fall. Will this dewberry coexist with American beautyberry, or must it have its own space entirely? If it needs its own sp...
view the full question and answer

Native plants for morning sun in Pembroke MA
October 07, 2009 - Could you please suggest native groundcover,plants/shrubs/grasses for eastern facing slope which gets morning sun? It is my front yard which slopes down toward driveway so it would be a major focal po...
view the full question and answer

Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.
E-NEWSLETTER | BECOME A MEMBER | DONATE NOW | MEDIA | JOBS | SITEMAP | STAFF INTRANET
© 2016 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center